Patient and public

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Tracing a doctor in the UK

Under the Data Protection Act, BMA membership records are confidential, which means we can’t provide patients and the public with contact details of our members. However, there are a variety of organisations that hold information about doctors working in the UK, currently and historically.


  • Trace a practising doctor

    General Medical Council

    The General Medical Council (GMC) holds the register of all medical doctors working in the UK with a licence to practise. You can search the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners for a named doctor to see if they are on the medical register.

    The GMC doesn’t usually provide contact details for individual doctors.

    Go to the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners


    The Medical Directory

    The Medical Directory is a publication that contains entries for the majority of doctors practising in the UK. It is published by Informa Healthcare and doctors can choose to have their contact details included in the directory. Most large public libraries hold a reference copy of the Medical Directory.

    Find out more about the Medical Directory


    NHS website

    If you are looking for a GP or specialist who works within the NHS and you know the postcode or organisation where they work, you can search the NHS website. You can click on ‘Services near you’ and select either GPs or hospitals to search for a particular GP practice or named consultant at a hospital.

    Use the NHS website to find services near you


    Alternatively, many GP practices have their own websites. If you are looking for a named specialist, our guidance provides details of the websites available to help you.

    Learn more about finding a specialist


  • Trace a doctor for historical research

    BMA Library and Archives

    The BMA Library primarily holds clinical material, such as medical textbooks and journals. It doesn’t hold biographical resources on doctors and we don’t keep historical membership records. Members of the public can buy a reader’s ticket to use the BMA Library for reference only.

    Find out more about the BMA Library

    The BMA Archives hold a set of the Dictionary of National Biography and almost complete sets of the Medical Register and Medical Directory. Staff can sometimes undertake research for visitors or you can access the search room by prior appointment.

    Contact the BMA Archives team


    Royal College of General Practitioners

    The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has produced a guide to tracing a medical ancestor, searching overseas sources, medical school records and university rolls.

    Read the RCGP’s guide


    Wellcome Trust

    The Wellcome Trust has a library and information service open to the public and its guide on researching a historical doctor lists library resources that may be helpful for your family history research.

    Read the Wellcome Trust’s guide


    National Archives

    The National Archives contain over a million probate records (wills) from 1384-1858. The archive includes medal index cards for the first world war (including the Royal Army Medical Corps) and the second world war. Fees are charged for some searches and the supply of documents.

    Find out more about the National Archives


    Royal colleges

    The royal colleges of medicine often hold archived membership and fellowship rolls. If you know the area of medicine a particular doctor specialised in, you could approach the relevant royal college. A list of the different colleges can be found on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website.

    Find a medical royal college on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website


    Medical schools and universities

    Many medical schools and universities maintain an alumni service, which can help former students to stay in touch. This may be one way you could trace a medical student or a doctor who you have lost contact with.