Should I study medicine?
You can certainly study medicine. We know of only one medical school that requires passing a test of colour vision as a condition for entry into a medical course (ref 64). There was such a requirement in Japan but this policy has been reversed (ref 52).
In the UK the General Medical Council has statutory responsibility for setting standards to protect the public. It recently encouraged medical schools to propose policies to help students with disabilities to take up a career in medicine (ref 27), but no policy for students with colour vision deficiency has yet been proposed under this scheme.
Unless you have a very mild colour vision deficiency, you will have problems with colour during your medical studies and in the practice of medicine, but there are many doctors with abnormal colour vision who passed their course and practise medicine.
However, it remains true that you should give careful thought to how you can adjust to minimise the effects of your colour vision deficiency on your studies and in practice so that you provide effective care to your patients.
The first step is to make sure you have abnormal colour vision and find out how severe it is.
The next step is to accept there may be a problem and give careful thought to how you can adapt. Denial of the problem could put your patient’s well-being at risk. See Tips for the colour blind doctor.
You should also give careful thought to the branch of medicine in which you choose to practise.