Working with doctors Working for patients

Professionalism – key areas of concern

  1. 81. A medical student’s behaviour must justify the trust that patients and the public have in them. Examples of unprofessional behaviour that would be a cause for concern are listed below. Some of these examples apply to the medical school environment, but it’s important to remember that you need to behave professionally outside your medical school too. Unprofessional behaviour over a number of different areas, or repeated or persistent unprofessional behaviour, could lead to fitness to practise proceedings.
  2. It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive.

Persistent inappropriate attitude or behaviour

  • Uncommitted to work or a lack of engagement with training, programme of study or clinical placements
  • Neglect of administrative tasks
  • Poor time management
  • Non-attendance
  • Poor communication skills
  • Failure to accept and follow educational advice and unwillingness to learn from feedback given by others
  • Being rude to patients, colleagues or others
  • Unwillingness to learn from constructive feedback given by others
  • Being disruptive in teaching sessions or the training environment
  • Challenging behaviour towards clinical teachers or not accepting criticism
  • Failing to answer or respond to communications

Failing to demonstrate good medical practice

  • Misuse of social media, such as criticising placement providers
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Misleading patients about their care or treatment
  • Culpable involvement in a failure to obtain proper consent from a patient
  • Sexual, racial or other forms of harassment or bullying
  • Inappropriate examinations or failure to keep appropriate boundaries in behaviour
  • Unlawful discrimination

Drug or alcohol misuse

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Abusing prescription medication
  • Alcohol consumption that affects clinical work or the work environment
  • Dealing, possessing, supplying or misusing drugs, even if there are no legal proceedings – this may include legal highs
  • A pattern of excessive misuse of alcohol

Cheating or plagiarising

  • Cheating in examinations
  • Signing peers into taught sessions from which they are absent
  • Passing off the work of others as your own
  • Sharing with fellow students or others details of questions or tasks from exams you have taken
  • Forging a supervisor’s name or falsifying feedback on assessments, logbooks or portfolios

Dishonesty or fraud, including dishonesty outside the professional role

  • Falsifying research
  • Committing financial fraud
  • Creating fraudulent CVs or other documents
  • Misrepresentation of qualifications
  • Falsifying signatures on documents such as portfolios
  • Failure to declare relevant misconduct or health issues to your medical school or university
  • Wilful withholding or misrepresentation of health issues (for example, blood-borne viruses)

Aggressive, violent or threatening behaviour

  • Assault
  • Physical violence
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online bullying or trolling

Any caution or conviction

  • Possessing, dealing or supplying illegal drugs
  • Theft
  • Physical violence
  • Fare avoidance
  • Financial fraud
  • Child pornography
  • Child abuse or any other abuse
  • Sexual offences

Health concerns and insight or management of these concerns

  • Failure to seek appropriate treatment or advice from an independent and appropriately qualified healthcare professional
  • Failure to follow the requirement to tell your medical school or university if you have a serious health condition
  • Refusal to follow medical advice or care plans, or to comply with arrangements for monitoring and reviews
  • Failure to comply with reasonable adjustments to ensure patient safety
  • Failure to recognise limits and abilities or lack of insight into health concerns
  • Failure to be immunised against common serious communicable diseases (unless contraindicated)