Working with doctors Working for patients

Develop and maintain your professional performance

  1. 1. As a registered doctor, you’ll be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date so you can give your patients the best standard of care.
  2. 2. Registered doctors must be familiar with and follow all laws and regulations relevant to their practice as well as any guidance the GMC issues. This will protect patients by making sure they receive safe and lawful treatment and will help doctors to provide the best care possible.
  3. 3. As a medical student, you’ll learn the basic skills and knowledge you need to treat patients, but you are also developing your ability to learn and acquire future skills. As you move through medical school and into postgraduate education and training, you’ll continue to build on what you have learnt. For you, this aspect of good medical practice is about participating fully in this learning process.
  4. 4. You must:
    • engage fully with your medical course by attending educational activities, including lectures, seminars and placements, and by completing coursework
    • listen to the advice of your lecturers and trainers
    • comply fully with the regulations and other systems or structures provided by your medical school or university in relation to your studies
    • respond constructively to verbal and written feedback from patients, lecturers, clinicians and members of the multidisciplinary team by critically reflecting on the feedback and making an action plan to improve where necessary
    • reflect on what you have learnt and look at ways to improve your own performance.
  5. 5. As a medical student, you’ll learn about relevant laws and professional guidance, and it’s important that you apply that learning when you are on a clinical placement. On a clinical placement, it is your responsibility to know, and proactively find out, about these policies and procedures and apply them in your work. This includes following the relevant laws and guidance when you are on an overseas placement or elective.

Practical tip #1: What is reflection?

You will hear about the concept of reflective practice throughout your time at medical school.

At its core, reflection is thinking about what you’ve done, what you did well and what you could do better next time. To do this, you need to think about what effect your actions have on yourself and on others, including patients and colleagues, across all aspects of your education and training.

For example, if you have an interaction with a patient or a colleague that didn’t go as planned, you should explore how you approached the situation in a critical light to see if you can learn from what happened and use that learning to improve the way you approach similar situations in the future.

Reflection also means responding constructively to feedback from your teachers, trainers and colleagues. Think about what you have been told you can improve and aim to put those improvements into action. This is how medical students and registered doctors learn and improve.