It is important that medical students are aware that their own poor health may put patients and colleagues at risk.
Good Medical Practice requires doctors to seek and follow advice from a suitably qualified professional about their health. This is particularly important if they have, or suspect they have, a serious condition that could be passed on to patients, or if they are receiving treatment that could affect their judgement or performance.
Students should be registered with a GP to ensure they have access to independent and objective medical care.
In order to demonstrate that they are fit to practise, students should:
1.Be aware that their own health problems may put patients and colleagues at risk
2.Seek medical or occupational health advice, or both, if there is a concern about their health, including mental health
3.Accept that they may not be able to accurately assess their own health, and be willing to be referred for treatment and to engage in any recommended treatment programmes
4.Protect patients, colleagues and themselves by being immunised against common serious communicable diseases if vaccines are available and are recommended by the Department of Health or relevant devolved department
5.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 should not perform EPPs; they may have restrictions on their clinical placements; they must complete the recommended health screening before undertaking EPPs; and they must limit their medical practice when they graduate
6.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
7.Be aware that when they graduate they are responsible for informing their employer or other appropriate person if their health poses a risk to patients or the public.