If your application is successful, we will offer you a place conditional on a satisfactory health check. We will ask you to complete a health questionnaire before the course starts, and some applicants may be asked to undergo an independent medical examination or a skills assessment before they can be registered on the course.
After you register at the medical school, you'll undergo a pre-course health assessment to make sure that:
- you don't pose a potential risk to patients
- working in a clinical environment won't pose any risk to your health and wellbeing
- you meet the requirements of the GMC and the Department of Health
Both you and your GP will be asked to complete an occupational health form which will be the basis of this assessment. We will expect you to provide evidence of two MMR jabs, and vaccinations will be provided if required. You will be assessed for TB, and we may offer you TB screening or BCG vaccination. You will also need to take a blood test, which will include testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, and may assess immunity status for varicella, measles and rubella, and hepatitis B.
All students are offered a blood test for blood-borne diseases (hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV) at the start of their medical course.
There are three possible outcomes. None of these will normally prevent you from training as a doctor:
- If you are free of infection: You will be offered an immunisation programme to protect you from hepatitis B. The programme will consist of a course of three doses of vaccine: the first immediately, the second after four weeks, and the third after a further five months. A small percentage of the population will not develop immunity after this. If this applies to you, we will give you suitable advice, but it won't prevent you from continuing with your training.
- If you are infected: You will be informed and counselled about the meaning of the result by the occupational health service. You will still be able to train, but you will be required not to undertake exposure-prone procedures.
- If you decline to be tested: You will be able to train, but you will be required not to undertake exposure-prone procedures.
An exposure-prone procedure is any procedure where there is a risk that injury to you might result in exposing the patient’s open tissue to your blood. For example, this includes procedures where your gloved hand or fingertips may not be completely visible and may come into contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissue (e.g. spicules of bone or teeth) inside a patient’s open body cavity, wound or confined anatomical space.
Our undergraduate curriculum may involve these procedures. If you are infected or you decline to be tested, you will have to avoid these, but they are not essential in order to qualify as a doctor. Once qualified, you will not be able to enter certain branches of postgraduate medicine that involve exposure-prone procedures (for example, surgery). Many common procedures where the hands can be seen are not classed as exposure-prone, examples include taking blood, setting up an IV line (drip), minor surface suturing and simple endoscopic procedures.