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Disabled doctors need greater support, says GMC

Disabled doctors and students are not receiving the support they need to fulfill their potential, the GMC has said.

The regulatory body has launched a review of draft guidelines for educators and employers to support doctors with disabilities or long term health conditions.

The Welcomed and valued guidance aims to create improved environments for all students and doctors. It was created in collaboration with disabled medical students and doctors, and seeks to remove barriers to success and offer practical advice.

Professor Colin Melville, the GMC’s director of education and standards, said: ‘A diverse medical workforce is important as it reflects and better understands the population it treats and cares for.

‘Doctors with health conditions and disabilities have a lot to offer, and at a time when the country needs all the medical staff it can get it’s unacceptable for unnecessary barriers to be placed in the way of those who want to become our future doctors.’

He said it was ‘vital’ that doctors are offered ‘flexible support’ from the start of their medical careers.

Prof Melville added: ‘This consultation will help us finalise the guidance, which will outline the practical support medical education and training providers can offer to ensure all doctors, regardless of disability, are welcomed and valued, and given the tools and flexibility they need to succeed.’

The consultation on the draft guidelines will run until 20 September.