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Revalidation has forced 63 doctors to quit medicine since January, says GMC

Exclusive Over 60 doctors have cited revalidation as the reason for relinquishing their licence to practise since January, reveal official GMC figures that show a rise in the number of GPs quitting practising medicine in the UK.

GMC figures show a 74% rise in GPs giving up their license to practise in the UK, with 258 GPs voluntarily giving up their license from January to March 2013, compared with 148 in the same period last year.

Doctors who relinquish their license to practice will remain on the GMC register but will no longer be able to work in the UK.

Earlier this year, the GMC commissioned a survey of doctors to provide a clear picture on how many doctors are likely to give up their registration or license to practice due to revalidation, but cannot say when the results will be published.

However, the latest figures show 63 doctors cited revalidation as the reason they relinquished their registration or license to practise, with the majority blaming moving overseas (1,142) or retirement (797).

Of the 63 doctors, 33 were from outside the UK and 21 of the doctors are around retirement age, said the GMC.

A GMC spokesperson said the analysis showed that ‘revalidation is not currently a significant reason given by doctors for requesting removal from the medical register or relinquishing their license to practice.’

In March, the regulator had forecasted a potential £2.3m loss due to revalidation discouraging more doctors not to renew their licence to practice. A Pulse survey in 2011 found one in 10 GPs said they intend to leave before revalidation came into effect.

Some 839 doctors opted to give up their GMC registration from January to March 2013, compared with 687 over the same period in 2012. There was also a small increase in GPs requesting a removal of their GMC registration, meaning they will no longer hold registration or a licence to practise – increasing from 258 in January to March 2013, compared with 218 over the same period in 2012.

Dr Mohammed Jiva, medical secretary of Rochdale and Bury LMC said that many doctors will not want to jump through the hoops of revalidation, resulting in a loss of experienced doctors.

He said: ‘A lot of doctors will need to be revalidated to keep their license to practise, but there’s so many hurdles they have to jump through that they will just not bother. They’ll go abroad, or give up their licence.’

‘In time, the GMC will notice that more doctors at the retirement age will drop off rather than be revalidated. Which is a shame. When we really do need the doctors at a time of crisis, they won’t be licensed and their experience won’t be available to younger doctors. In times gone by we could have brought them out of retirement to help – but not anymore.’