Please note that the Medical Council office will close at 3pm today to facilitate a staff event. The office will reopen at 9am on Monday 27th November.

Retired doctors who continue the practice of medicine on an ad-hoc basis

I’ve retired, but in the past have worked as a locum from time-to-time. Do I need to fulfil professional competence requirements?

Many doctors retire from their career post, but then continue to practise medicine on a part-time or occasional basis. Sometimes the roles these doctors fulfil do not involve day-to-day contact with patients.

There are no special requirements for doctors working less than full-time, or on an occasional basis. Once registered, a doctor has the right to practise medicine. From the public perspective, the responsibility to maintain professional competence must apply to all doctors, regardless of their working arrangements. Consequently, all doctors in the general, specialist and supervised division of the register have a duty to main­tain professional competence by enrolling in a professional competence scheme and engaging in maintenance of professional competence activities which are relevant to their practice. Maintenance of professional competence is based on your day-to-day practice. You should enrol in a professional competence scheme, and engage in activities to maintain your competence, that reflects your day-to-day practice of medicine. Both recognised postgraduate training bodies and the Medical Council will support you if you have retired but would like to remain on the register and maintain your professional competence.

I am retired, don’t intend to practise medicine anymore and plan to withdraw from the register. What does this mean for me?

If you withdraw your name from the register voluntarily, you can retain the title of “Dr” and you can administer emergency aid in the event of an accident.  You can also contact your relevant postgraduate training body to discuss relevant collegial activities with which you may be able to engage as a retired doctor who has voluntarily withdrawn from the register.