Getting Back to Work after an Accident or Illness

If you’re reading this guide you’re probably considering a change of career – perhaps due to accident or illness.

  • You may have been involved in a serious accident, off work and your sick pay has run out. That would be bad enough in itself – but what if you have a wife and family and a mortgage to pay?
  • You may have a physical illness or disability which prevents you working or limits your mobility or means you need to keep taking periods of sick leave –and you’re worried about the long term financial and career implications.
  • You may have a mental illness – depression, anxiety or bipolar for instance – and this, in itself, may be making it difficult to manage.
  • You may have an alcohol or other addiction problem, probably with GMC implications – and may be grappling with the impact not only on your career and finances but also on your family and friends.

The first point to make is that you’re not alone. There are quite a number of other GPs in a similar situation to you.

You’ll hopefully be receiving clinical support. You may well be able to tap into support from one of the many peer support groups for doctors (see the listings in

However, what you’d like ideally is probably to get back to work – whether in a medical or medically related career or by pursuing a new and alternative career path – to help restore your income, your self esteem and your contribution to society.

That’s what this short guide is here to help you do. We look at getting back to work after GMC suspension, what if you can’t get back to work as a GP, stepping stones back to work, what else a doctor can do, getting and keeping a new job, checking that you won’t be worse off financially by going back to work, some of the career options open to you and further sources of information and advice.