GMC registration and ill health

I have not worked for two years and I am wondering whether to let my GMC registration go as money is tight. I am not working due to ill health brought on by stress at work...should I let it go?

There is no immediate right or wrong to this but methinks you may be asking the wrong question. I would rather hear "Do I expect to ever work again?"

You don't mention your age, but if you would like to earn a professional income again, and to aim towards enjoying work again, and can imagine at some point feeling well enough to do this, then what is needed now is some career guidance before any decision is made regarding the GMC.

If the answer is no to the question - and you are aged 63 and content not to work at all from now on, then it would probably make sense to de-register.

If you are up to seeking career guidance and feel a return to work would be attractive if the right work was found, the sooner you do this the better because at some point, if they haven't already, the GMC will be questioning your accreditation.

My experience of people attempting re-registration is that it can be an uphill struggle. It would be a real shame if you seek career guidance in two years’ time, having stopped GMC registration (or they have stopped you), only to find that you are ideally suited to a post in the pharmaceutical industry three days a week, but that they want someone to be registered and would even pay for you to study the diploma of pharmaceutical medicine. I am not saying this option would suit you, but it is simply an example of what can arise with lack of forward career planning.

You say money is tight - so the programme at Medical Forum may seem expensive . If you are on PHI, we have a one-page guide on how to approach the insurer for career guidance funds. If you would be funding it yourself and you get back to work just one week sooner (and it’s more likely to be 6 months sooner) as a result of a career review, you will have covered its cost, so it is all relative.

Finally, if a radical change in career is the outcome of career guidance, there are career development loans provided by the government.

First published in the NASGP Newsletter April/May 2013.

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