His proposal includes senior NHS managers, hospital consultants, judges and top civil servants, with minimal rises of under 1% for other public sector workers including dentists.
It has been described as the toughest public sector pay deal for 30 years.
The BMA was seeking a 2% income increase.
BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: 'Penalising all doctors, and in particular singling out GPs for a total pay freeze, is completely the wrong move and is likely to prove counter-productive.
'Doctors do not dispute that the economic crisis necessitates difficult decisions but Mr Darling is choosing the wrong target and using the wrong weapon. Rather than punishing front-line staff who are achieving better clinical outcomes than ever before, the government needs to fundamentally re-think its health policies to ensure taxpayers' money is not wasted.
'Hundreds of millions of pounds of NHS funding has been lost on poor value private finance initiatives, expensive independent sector treatment centre contracts and unnecessary advice from management consultants, together with market-driven reforms that allow commercial providers to profit from the NHS.
'As the recession takes its toll on people's health, frontline staff will be required to work at greater intensity. This is the time to support and value them, not demoralise and punish them.'
Mr Darling's recommendations do not cover Scotland and Northern Ireland. The final decision on pay rests with the Doctors' and Dentists' Pay Review Body. Its decision is usually rubber-stamped by all UK countries. It is expected to report early next year.
As Independent Nurse reported yesterday, the 2.25% for nurses (which forms the final part of the three-year pay deal) is safe. The Treasury does not think it is right to reopen deals where workforces have been given certainty about their pay.
- What do you think of a possible pay freeze for 2010/11?