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Raising concerns with senior colleagues

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

MPS surveyed 1,052 newly-qualified doctors to find out about their experiences – one of the biggest issues was quality of care, with 51% having concerns over the quality of care in their workplace.

Over 60% of doctors in their foundation year 1 confided in fellow trainees about their concerns, whilst doctors in their foundation year 2 were more willing to discuss their quality of care concerns, with 67% raising the issue with their clinical managers. It is important that concerns about care quality are raised with senior colleagues. It is your responsibility as a doctor to do so, and patient safety should be your top priority.

 

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Top five medicolegal hazards

Written by JuniorDr.

Good doctors apply clinical knowledge in a way that is legally and ethically correct – but all doctors can slip up. Here are survival tips for the top five medicolegal risks for junior doctors.

1. CONSENT

Junior doctors should not feel pressurised to do anything beyond their knowledge, experience and competence, this includes obtaining consent for a procedure that they are not familiar with. Failure to take consent properly can lead to medicolegal problems including complaints, claims and disciplinary proceedings. Consent is a process, rather than a form-filling exercise. Recent GMC guidance emphasises the importance of working in partnership with patients.

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Consent for end of life decisions

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

Patients who are approaching the end of their life have the same entitlement to high quality care as other patients, and the GMC clearly sets out this expectation. You must treat patients and those close to them with dignity, respect and compassion, especially when they are facing difficult situations and decisions about care.

The GMC states that if you are undertaking an investigation or providing treatment, it is your responsibility to discuss it with the patient and ensure that they understand the risks and side effects as wellas alternatives, including no treatment. If you delegate this responsibility to someone else, you are still responsible for making sure that the patient has been given enough time and information to make an informed decision, and has given their valid consent.

 

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Working abroad - what you need to know

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

Want to broaden your experience? Have a sense of adventure? Perhaps you have a passion to practise medicine in less-developed communities? Whatever your reason for wanting to work oversees, ensuring you’re well-prepared is a must.

Working abroad has become an ever more popular option for junior doctors, with the majority heading to New Zealand and Australia. Below are some tips to help you realise your dream.

 

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Standing up for patient safety

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

hold handsImproving patient safety is no doubt at the forefront of everyone's minds following the Francis Inquiry. Charlotte Hudson reflects on the challenges doctors face in ensuring that good quality of care is delivered.

The GMC's Good Medical Practice states that patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and that doctors must make the care of patients their first concern. The Francis Report found serious failings in leadership and culture in the Mid Staffordshire NHS, which Inquiry chairman, Robert Francis QC said went right to the top of the health service.

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Write your way to the top

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

clipboard-stethoscopeFilling in applications for training posts requires careful consideration. You will face fierce competition from other trainees, so make a difference, stand out and sell yourself, says Charlotte Hudson.

Medical jobs are becoming increasingly competitive so it is vital you nail your application to get the job you want. One way to do this is to get your own research or writing published to make your application form stand out from the rest. By showing your potential employer that you have had your work published showcases your commitment and drive, as well as your ability to write clearly and persuasively.

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Digital docs - the pitfalls of using social networking sites

Written by Sara Williams.

app-iconsThe saying goes "what happens on tour stays on tour", but when posting online bear in mind that what happens on Twitter stays on Google forever. Doctors should exercise caution when making entries on social networking sites – the internet is not a private space and nothing is truly anonymous, even if you use a pseudonym.

Recently, a hospital doctor's tweeting sparked a national debate about what was appropriate for a medical professional to say on a social networking site. The trouble lies in that you never really know who is reading what you write; you could have a friend-of-a-friend reading your Facebook status, who might happen to be a patient or a disapproving member of the public.

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Ready, set, go! How junior doctors can contribute to the Olympics

Written by Charlotte Hudson.

winner-illustrationThe term good Samaritan stems from the bible – a person who gratuitously gives help to those in distress. During the Olympics, foundation doctors cannot apply to be medical volunteers; but you can provide assistance by way of a good Samaritan act. Charlotte Hudson explains.

The Olympic Games is just around the corner and more than 5,000 doctors have already offered their services as medical volunteers to work at the event, to attend to the millions of spectators, press and associated workers who will be present.

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An inconvenient truth

Written by Sara Williams.

taxi-nightMPS is often contacted by doctors who are surprised that their attitude and behaviour outside the clinical environment has called their fitness to practise into question. Sara Williams shares the story about what happened to Isla when her deanery discovered a serious black mark on her record.

Isla is now an F2 in Aberdeen. A few years ago, during her final year at medical school, Isla got into some trouble on a night out with friends. She was celebrating getting her final results, so had spent most of the day in the pub. Add a comment

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Confidentiality - General principles

Written by MPS.

confidential(Correct as of April 2008) Confidentiality is at the centre of maintaining trust between patients and doctors. As a doctor, you have access to sensitive personal information about patients and you have a legal and ethical duty to keep this information confidential, unless the patient consents to the disclosure; disclosure is required by law or is necessary in the public interest. This factsheet sets out the basic principles of confidentiality.

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Safe prescribing - Medication Errors

Written by MPS.

pills-tablets(Correct as of April 2008) Medication errors account for approximately 20% of all clinical negligence claims against doctors in both primary and secondary care. The costs associated with adverse events and inappropriate prescribing has been estimated at more than £750 million per year. This factsheet gives advice about avoiding prescribing errors.

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