Some disturbing findings have emerged from a survey of the professionalism
of US and UK doctors. According to the journal BMJ Quality and Safety
nearly a fifth of doctors in both the US and
UK had direct personal experience of an impaired or incompetent colleague in
the previous 3 years — but one-third in both countries had not reported this
colleague to a relevant authority.
than one-third of UK doctors did not report colleagues because they were afraid
of retribution, possibly reflecting unsympathetic treatment of whistleblowers
which has been widely reported in the British medical press.
authors said that it was surprising that only 80% of doctors strongly agreed
with the statement that “Doctors should put patients’ welfare above the
doctor’s own financial interests”. About 8% of doctors in both countries did
not agree that it was “never appropriate” to have a sexual relationship
with a patient.
Niall Dickson,CEO of the UK’s General Medical Council,
responded to the report: “Doctors have a clear duty to put patients’ interests
first and act to protect them; this includes raising concerns about colleagues
when necessary.” ~ London
Telegraph, Mar 7;
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