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New GMC guidance outlines clear steps to better support disabled doctors

14 May 2019

Disabled doctors and medical students can expect greater support to pursue their careers, following new guidance published by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The regulator has advised medical schools and training providers of the steps they should put in place to make sure all students and trainee doctors, including those with disabilities, are able fulfil their potential. ‘Welcomed and valued: Supporting disabled learners in medical education and training’ includes a suggested seven-step process for medical schools for undergraduate medical students, and a nine-step process for providers of postgraduate training.

The steps, outlined in the GMC’s Welcomed and valued guidance, include allocating specific contacts, agreeing confidentiality arrangements and creating action plans to make sure they can meet the demands of their courses or training. For postgraduates this will also require establishing clear lines of communication with a doctor’s local Health Education England (HEE) team or postgraduate Deanery.

The guidance includes a summary of relevant legislation, and advice for educators on how to make reasonable adjustments to support students and trainees through medical school, clinical placements and work settings. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommends that all UK members involved in the provision and supervision of ophthalmic training familiarise themselves with this information.