General Medical Council

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The General Medical Council (GMC) registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. It exists to 'protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.' [1]

Under the Medical Act 1983, the GMC is required to by law:

  • keep up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
  • foster good medical practice
  • promote high standards of medical education
  • deal firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt.

Role as an Independent Regulator

The GMC is the independent, accountable regulator for doctors in the UK. The council has 'legal powers designed to maintain the standards the public have a right to expect of doctors.' It is on the side of the patients, not the medical profession, which is protected by other organisations.[2]

It is independent of government as the dominant provider of healthcare in the UK and of domination by any single group. It claims to respect the principles of good regulation:[3]

  • proportionality
  • accountability
  • consistency
  • transparency
  • targeting


The GMC's governing body, the Council, has 24 members. 12 are doctors and 12 are lay members. All are appointed by the Appointments Commission.


Members serve for a four year period:

High Profile Cases

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  1. GMC.GMC About Accessed 7 August 2009.
  2. GMC.GMC About Accessed 7 August 2009.
  3. GMC.GMC About Accessed 7 August 2009.
  4. Incisive Health Clients, accessed 25 June 2015.