Fitness to Practise

Fitness to Practise and the GMC

The GMC and Medical Schools Council have produced joint guidance called Medical students: professional behaviour and fitness to practise which guides medical schools on fair and consistent fitness to practise procedures. In order to demonstrate that they are fit to practise, students should:

  • be aware that their own health problems may put patients and colleagues at risk
  • seek medical or occupational health advice if there is a concern about their health
  • accept that they may not be able to assess their own health, and be willing to be referred for treatment and to engage in any recommended treatment programmes
  • protect patients, colleagues and themselves by being immunised against common serious communicable diseases if vaccines are available
  • be aware that they are not required to perform exposure prone procedures (EPPs) in order to achieve the expectations set out in Tomorrow’s Doctors; students with blood-borne viruses (BBVs) can study medicine but they may have restrictions on their clinical placements, and will need to limit their medical practice when they graduate
  • not rely on their own or another student’s assessment of the risk posed to patients by their health, and should seek advice, when necessary, from a qualified clinician or other qualified healthcare professional
  • be aware that medical graduates must let it be known if their health poses a risk to patients or the public.

Requirements if you have been offered a place

If you have been offered a provisional place to study medicine at Oxford you must:

1.Fulfill certain Screening Requirements for Medical Students at Oxford 2008 (45kb) according to current national guidelines. The Occupational health service will offer an appointment to carry out the necessary serology for you during your first year.


2. Complete and return a signed Medical Student Pre-acceptance health questionnaire that has been sent with your offer to the Occupational Health Service as soon as possible. In most cases the school will be advised that the student is fit for the course. Appropriate reasonable extra support or adaptation of the course will be offered in conjunction with support from the Disability Office. In the very unusual situation where there is any reason for concern, confidential specialist advice may be sought and a case conference held to ensure that all reasonable steps and support have been considered.

Guidance for screening for Blood borne viruses

Blood borne virus (BBV) testing should be performed during the initial stages of medical training, prior to undertaking any EPPs. Freedom from infection with BBVs is not an absolute requirement for those wishing to train as doctors, however satisfying additional health clearance, which includes determining their BBV status, is obligatory for those who wish to train in specialties that involve EPPs.

Guidance and Medical student consent form (195kb) for screening under the DOH guidelines: This appendix to this consent form aims to provide you with the information needed to decide whether to give informed consent to being tested for blood borne viruses and to provide answers to the questions you may have about screening. If you require more information or have any queries, you can discuss matters in confidence with a clinical member of staff from the Occupational Health Service prior to testing. Where indicated or requested a separate appointment at the Occupational Health Service will be made.

Information and Support for Students with Disabilities

Medical students: standards of fitness to train: the current national guidelines from the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners' Society

University of Oxford Disability Office offers support with applications for adaptive equipment and specialist advice on adjustments

Skill: The National Bureau for Students with Disabilities

GMC Gateways Project: Guidance on reducing the barriers to those with disabilities entering medicine.