Doctors on leave from medical practice

I need to take a break from medical practice

Many doctors do not practise medicine for an extended period of time during the course of their career. There can be many reasons for this, from maternity leave to illness or taking a career break. The length of any leave of absence from the practice of medicine will have an impact on participation in a professional competence scheme. The following broad guidelines apply:

One year or less: You must tell your postgraduate training body that you intend to cease practising medicine for a period of one year or less. The postgraduate training body may require you to produce relevant supporting documentation, including a professional development plan. You will be advised to make up any deficit in the accrual of credits for maintenance of professional competence activities on return to practice. Where possible you should maintain some engagement in the maintenance of professional competence over the duration of the leave.

Between one and three years: You must notify both your postgraduate training body and the Medical Council that you intend to cease practising medicine. The postgraduate training body may require you to produce relevant supporting documentation, including a professional development plan. You will be advised to make up any deficit in the accrual of credits for maintenance of professional competence activities on return to practice. Where possible you should maintain some engagement in the maintenance of professional competence over the duration of the leave.

Over three years: If you are planning to cease the practice of medicine for more than three years, you are advised to withdraw from the register voluntarily. There is a straightforward process by which you can apply to restore your name to the register at any time in the future. If voluntary withdrawal is not an option, you should contact the Professional Competence Section of the Medical Council. Decisions on matters like this are considered on a case-by-case basis. You will, however, be asked to provide a professional development plan, which may include provisions for a planned re-entry to practice.

Leave of absence of any duration: Doctors may consider voluntary withdrawal from the register. Doctors do not retain the right to practise medicine and have no responsibility to maintain professional competence. Restoration to the register is straightforward

Leave of absence of any duration: Doctors may consider voluntary withdrawal from the register. Doctors do not retain the right to practise medicine and have no responsibility to maintain professional competence. Information on restoring your name to the register.