In order to study effectively it is necessary to have the physical and mental resilience to cope with the demands of study. Where there are emerging concerns about a student’s health, wellbeing and/ or behaviour which impact upon their ability to progress on a course or at College, then consideration should be given as to the how best to support a student’s welfare. Significant deterioration in health, attitude, or conduct, particularly where there is an impact on attendance, ability to meet deadlines, succeed academically, or participate in normal student life, may indicate that the student’s fitness to continue their studies should be assessed. It may be that an interruption of study should be initiated or in exceptional circumstances a recommendation for withdrawal would be in the student’s best interest. 

Interruption of study

Also read Changes to Registration Status page.

Where an interruption of studies is indicated on health grounds, supporting certification should be sought from a doctor (ideally one of the GPs at the Imperial College Health Centre). It is a condition of the interruption that medical evidence must be provided of a student’s fitness to return before they can re-enrol. Students should be advised that they need to have a 20 minute booked consultation with a GP at Imperial College Health Centre, to discuss this. The GP will confirm whether or not the student is fit to return and may make recommendations for support. These could include a referral to the Disability Advisory Service for mentoring support or to the Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service. If the College Health Centre was not involved in granting the interruption of study, the Senior Tutor or Director of Postgraduate Studies should provide a report that outlines the reasons for the interruption.

Suspension & Withdrawal

Also read Changes to Registration Status page.

The Academic Regulations require that a student must attend to the satisfaction of the Head of Department and the College reserves the right to require any student whose academic progress is unsatisfactory or who fails required examinations to withdraw from the College. The student may be required to be assessed by the College Health Service if there is reason to believe that the student’s state of health makes him/her unable to pursue his/her studies. If the medical assessment confirms that continuation of study is not in the best interest of the student then the Head of Department in consultation with the Director of Student Services and/or the College Tutors/College Senior Tutor, may suspend that student until he/she is fit to continue or may require the student to withdraw from the College. (Regulation 9) Regulations for students (pdf)

Fitness to Practise Medicine

Fitness to Practise Medicine Procedures (pdf)

The College offers several programmes of study that leads to the degree of MBBS which qualifies graduates for provisional registration as doctors. Under the Medical Act (1983) the College is responsible for the education and training of doctors up to full registration. The Act places a duty upon the College to ensure that those who graduate from undergraduate programmes are fit to practise. Fitness to Practise relates to one’s professionalism, behaviour and health. The General Medical

Council (GMC) and Medical School’s Council (MSC) provide detailed guidance to students on fitness to practise via

Professional behaviour and fitness to practise: guidance for medical schools and their students and Achieving good medical practice: guidance for medical students

In response to the following common misconception students have about mental health - “Once I’m a doctor, if I have a mental health condition, the GMC will automatically put me in their fitness to practise procedures, the GMC have noted the following response on their website: It is important to note that the GMC is only interested when a doctor’s mental illness puts patients at risk. The vast majority of doctors with mental health conditions are not a risk to patients.  If a doctor understands their condition and seeks appropriate support, the GMC does not get involved. The GMC never removes doctors from the register solely because they have a mental health condition”.  

Further examples are available here, Supporting medical students with mental health conditions.

Appeals 

All students who are required to take an interruption of study or who withdraw from the College are entitled to appeal against this decision. The College publishes guidance for students on how to make that appeal Student complaints guidance to students (pdf). Students may consult with the College Tutors, and the Student Union Advice Centre can support them drafting their appeal documents.