The UK medical register has hit a major milestone as it welcomed its 300,000th doctor.
This comes just under two decades after we hit the 200,000 mark, which occurred just after the turn of the century.
The rise of women in the workforce has played a major role in this growth, as the number of female doctors has more than doubled over the past two decades. Women now account for 46 per cent of doctors on the medical register, which has become increasingly diverse in other ways too.
About a third of all registrants identify as black and minority ethnic and four in ten obtained their medical degree in the EEA or further overseas.
About 40% of registrants are under 40.
We are seeing a rise in registered doctor numbers larger than the growth of the UK population (0.6% in 2016-2017), with a 2.7% and 3% growth in 2016–17 and 2017–18 respectively.
And, with almost 42,500 students at medical schools across the UK in 2018, we look forward to welcoming more registrants in the coming years.
Of course, while the number of doctors in our health system has grown over time, so has demand.
Una Lane, Director of Registration and Revalidation at the GMC said:
‘Medicine is a fantastic career and the UK is fortunate to have so many talented, hard-working doctors treating patients here every day. Today we have more doctors than ever providing that care but we know that they are working in a system under pressure as they struggle to meet increased demand and the needs of an ageing population.
‘As the medical regulator, we will continue to play our part in ensuring that the UK has the medical workforce it needs to respond to the needs of patients and we will continue to support doctors in providing high quality care to patients across all four countries of the UK.’