Six in 10 doctors do not or did not have adequate access to affordable childcare - forcing many to put their careers on hold, according to a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).
The Doctors Decide poll found that four in 10 doctors felt access to childcare provision had an effect on their career progression.
Forty per cent called for 24-hour childcare to solve current childcare problems.
The BMA said childcare was no longer an issue that could be pushed to the margins of the health service.
The association said doctors are being forced out of healthcare because of the lack of adequate provision and called for a rethink of NHS childcare "because of its key role in recruitment and retention".
London specialist registrar in anaesthesia, Simon Minkoff, said: “In a time of 24-hour healthcare it is amazing that the NHS still only provides limited places and limited hours at its nurseries and creches.”