Registered doctors in the United Kingdom in 2018, by gender and specialty

In 2018, there were approximately 156.7 thousand registered doctors in the United Kingdom who were male, compared to 133 thousand females. Furthermore, there was a pronounced gender gap among specialist doctors in the UK with 48.7 thousand males, almost double the number of females qualified on the specialist register. Although on the GP register, women outnumber men with almost 33 thousand compared to 27.3 thousand on the same register.

Worldwide make-up of doctors in the UK

Although the majority of medical practitioners in the UK received their medical qualification from within the UK, there is still a significant share of doctors who graduated outside of the UK. 14 percent of those on the specialist practitioner register are from the European Economic Area while a further 25 percent are international graduates indicating the reliance of the NHS on immigration to support the organization’s workforce.

Strain on doctors

In a survey of English GPs in 2018, 44 percent of respondents reported that they have stress levels so high they feel no longer able to cope at least once a week. Additionally, over six in ten GPs conveyed they work longer hours than they are contracted for every day, with a further 20 percent doing this on most days. Unfortunately, the surveyed GPs were pessimistic for their future, with 44 percent believing that working in general practice is going to get worse in the next few years and a further 33 percent suggested things will get much worse.

Number of registered doctors in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2018, by gender and specialty

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Release date

July 2018


United Kingdom

Survey time period

June 2018

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Statistics on "Doctors and medical practitioners in the United Kingdom"

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