Health question 1: Managing conditions
Has a medical school, university or employer raised concerns about how you managed a health condition, that led to a formal process?
The formal process could be to support you, or to investigate the concerns. Usually a senior or HR manager, committee, hearing or similar decides what action to take after the process has finished.
What you need to tell us about managing your health concerns
We only need to know about concerns that led to a formal process
If someone raised a concern about how you managed your health, and this led to a formal process it usually means you needed to take action to stay fit to work as a doctor or continue your studies. We need to know about it so we can check how you are now.
What do we mean by 'raise concerns about how you managed a health condition'?
A medical school, university or an employer usually raises concerns if they think how you managed a health condition affected your ability to work as a doctor or study. Here are some examples someone might raise a concern about how you managed a health condition:
- someone raised a concern because your health condition affected your behaviour or performance as a doctor or whilst studying medicine
- someone raised a concern because you didn’t follow independent medical advice or workplace advice about how to manage any risks relating to your health condition
- someone raised a concern because you didn’t tell your medical school, university or employer about risks relating to your health condition.
You only need to tell us if the concerns raised led to a formal process.
What do we mean by a ‘formal process’?
We consider these bullet points to be part of a formal process:
- a formal meeting with an educational supervisor at university or medical school, in which they raise concerns
- a formal meeting with a manager or supervisor in a workplace where you are providing medical services, in which they raise concerns
- a referral to a panel, hearing, committee or similar.
Outcomes of a formal process can include:
- a formally documented decision (in writing or by email) following any of the above that required you to take steps to manage your health condition
- any action taken, including health-related conditions imposed or undertakings agreed on your practice, if your behaviour or performance was affected by your health.
If someone raised a concern that led to any of the bullet points above, you need to tell us about it when you apply.
What you don't need to tell us about managing your health concerns
We believe that disabled medical students and doctors should be welcomed to the profession and valued for their contribution in healthcare. Having a disability doesn’t stop you practicing medicine safely. The legal definition of a disability covers a range of conditions, including mental health conditions if they meet the criteria of the definition. We don’t need you to tell us if you have a disability, unless a medical school, university or employer raised concerns about how you managed the condition, or about its impact on your ability to study or work as a doctor, that led to a formal process.
You can read our guidance for medical students and doctors with disabilities.
A formal process to adjust your studies or practice where no concerns have been raised
If you need to adjust your studies or practice because of a health condition, your medical school or employer will usually agree suitable adjustments to support you and allow you to continue to practice or study safely, for example, working or studying less than full time. In these circumstances we don’t need you to tell us about this when you apply. You only need to tell us if concerns were raised about how you managed your health condition or how your health condition affected your studies or practice.
Informal communication about a health condition
It is normal for your medical school or manager/supervisor to talk to you or email you informally after you’ve been unwell to make sure you’re well enough to return to work or study. We don’t consider this to be raising a concern and you don’t need to tell us about this when you apply.
Informal support processes
Sometimes your medical school or employer will support you with a health condition informally. This can take various forms including, offering you additional support to return to work or study after a period of absence due to a health condition. We don’t consider this support to be a formal process and you don’t need to tell us about this when you apply.
What to do if you need to tell us about managing your health concerns
If concerns were raised about your health which led to a formal process, answer yes to health question 1 on your application and give the following details:
- what the condition is or was and how it affected your medical studies or medical practice
- details of the formal process including, who was involved and what the outcome was
- dates (for example, April-May 2020) when your health condition affected your medical studies or medical practice
- details of any treatment you’ve received (including any engagement with specialists or support services)
- the status of the condition now (for example, resolved, being managed, treatment is ongoing).
Does having a health condition mean you will have concerns?
Having a health condition (including a long-term condition) is not, itself, a reason for us to have concerns about your fitness to practise. What we consider is whether your management of your health condition has affected your ability to practice as a doctor or perform your duties on clinical placement whilst studying medicine. Even if your health condition is serious, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t practice safely.
I’m still not sure whether I need to tell you about the management of a health condition. What should I do?
Use our 'What to tell us when your apply' tool to help you decide whether to tell us about your condition. If you’ve used the decision tool and read this section of the guide and you’re still not sure get in touch with one of our advisers.