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Can you go Bankrupt if you are a Medical Doctor?
If you are a medical doctor in England & Wales it is possible for you to go Bankrupt and continue to practice. You will not be automatically suspended from the General Medical Council (GMC).
You only risk suspension if your bankruptcy reveals evidence of some related professional misconduct. However if you have simply got into debt that you are unable to repay this is unlikely to be the case.
Despite this you still need to take into account the possible reaction of your employer. Generally speaking they should have no objection. However you would need to discuss your situation before submitting a bankruptcy application.
Can an NHS Doctor go Bankrupt?
If you are a doctor in an NHS practice you are likely to be employed by a local Primary Care Trust. If you declare yourself bankrupt then under the terms of your employment the Trust may have the right to terminate your contract.
However this is simply a right. It is not usually automatic. The Trust should consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis with the final decision ultimately lying with the Chief Executive.
Given this you should speak to the Chief Executive (or senior management) about your intentions before proceeding with your application. You must get their agreement not terminate your contract if you go through with the process.
If you are an NHS GP trading as a Limited company either alone or with other doctors speak to us for more advice. You would have to resign as a director for the period of your bankruptcy.
Can a Doctor working in a Private Practice go Bankrupt?
If you are working in private practice your terms of employment are agreed between you and your patients. As such it is unlikely that you will decide to terminate these agreements if you go bankrupt.
However if you run your practise as a limited company there are implications you need to be aware of. If you are a director of the business you will have to resign your position.
This will cause a problem if you are the only director. In this situation a new director will have to be appointed to the business before you resign.
Medical equipment owned by a doctor for personal use in their practice is normally considered a Tool of the Trade. As such it should not be at risk in bankrupty.