We are an independent support network. The members of the team were originally brought together through the GMC’s review of health and disability, and the team received administrative support from the GMC while developing this website. However, the group is not affiliated with the GMC
This support network and website is aimed at chronically ill/disabled doctors, medical students, their colleagues, educators, trainers and anyone else requiring information or support regarding inclusion in the medical professions as a person with a chronic illness or disability
This website provides advice and guidance on a wide variety of topics that will hopefully cover the circumstances of most of our website users. The information given is a combination of information freely available in the public domain, personal experience, and personal but educated opinion of our Network members. Although we work very hard to ensure the accuracy of all of the information we give, as such, it should be taken as advice rather than absolute fact and we accept no liability for any adverse effects as a result of taking this advice. We are students and doctors trying to help our colleagues, simple as that
Invisible LTC's/disabilities & COVID-19 - advice
Relevant for any doctor with a LTC/disability but with a focus on invisible conditions because we believe this cohort are at the greatest risk of working when they shouldn't be
Please read it here
Also, it's okay not to be okay. If you are struggling with your mental health at this time, please reach out the BMA Wellbeing Service 0330 123 1245
Am I disabled?
Legal definition of disability, taken from The Equality Act 2010:
“A person (P) has a disability if—
(a)P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b)the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”
Generally as a group of people, medics are often reluctant to consider themselves as disabled if they are maintaining a high level of function. The following checklist may help you decide if this term applies to you:
Do you have a medical condition that causes a physical, mental or other impairment?
Does this medical condition mean you are unable to do certain things or have difficulty/require assistance with certain tasks on a daily basis for at least one year? For example shopping, washing and dressing, carrying out household tasks, walking and travelling by various forms of transport. This also includes social functioning such as ability to meet up with friends and socialise and also ability to care for children, etc.
If yes to both of these points, you may have a disability according to the Equality Act 2010 and are therefore protected by law from discrimination against you because of your medical condition.
It may also be helpful to refer to Welcomed and Valued: Who is a disabled person?
Are you at the point of a new diagnosis or a significant flare, relapse or development of your symptoms or condition?
These are the times when you are most vulnerable and need to stop and take advice. Before you make any clinical/rota commitments, contact HR or OH please take the time to refer to the below pages of this website to seek support, advice and guidance in order to avoid making poor/detrimental decisions that may further impact upon your health, well-being and career.
Resilience - including career counselling
For all other areas of the website, see Full Menu
Have a look at this blog in BMJ Leader...
"There are many parallels between the emotional, mental & spiritual conflicts & paths taken by someone with a lifelong diagnosis & someone finding themselves living in a pandemic."
You might also find this podcast interesting. It is based around the blog and expands on this to discuss how life with a long-term condition compares to life during a pandemic. Buddhism is simply a psychological model of the mind and world and is followed by many people of other religions. This series is secular so discussed psychological principles without religion. Have a listen...
Note to all learners/doctors accessing this network:
Whilst educators/employers have obligations to make reasonable adjustments and provide support in order to accommodate and welcome you in your training/work, you as a professional also have an obligation to be honest and open about your condition, abilities and limitations.
Whilst not obliged to disclose the nature of your condition to everyone, you must share adequate information to key relevant people in order that they can decide how to provide you with the support required to meet the required professional competencies. Although reasonable adjustments can be made, there are certain core competencies that must be achieved and cannot themselves be altered
Research project into invisible disabilities among doctors
I am really excited and proud to invite you to take part in this innovative IPA research. I am keen to hear of the experiences of doctors with invisible disability who have experienced post traumatic growth. I look forward to hearing from you.