Working with doctors Working for patients

Openness and legal or disciplinary proceedings

  1. 74. Doctors must be honest and trustworthy if asked to give evidence in any legal or disciplinary process. They’re also expected to report certain matters to the GMC, for example if they receive a caution from the police.
  2. 75. Medical students are not registered with the GMC, but you have similar responsibilities in relation to your medical school. Medical schools must not graduate any student with a primary medical qualification who they don’t consider fit to practise. This means, even if you meet all the competencies and pass your exams, your medical school can only graduate you if it is satisfied you are fit to practise. You’ll also need to declare any fitness to practise issues when you apply for provisional registration with the GMC.
  3. 76. You have a duty to cooperate with medical school fitness to practise procedures that involve you or your colleagues. You also have a responsibility to tell your medical school immediately, and the GMC when you apply for provisional registration, if you:
  • accept a caution for a criminal offence while you are at medical school
  • have been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence while at medical school
  • have any serious concerns about your health.
  1. 77. You should tell your medical school or university if you are the subject of any legal proceedings that could call into question your fitness to practise medicine. You shouldn’t wait until legal proceedings have been concluded before you do this.
  2. 78. If you had any cautions or convictions before you started medical school, you must declare these on admission, unless they are protected. Read more about protected cautions and convictions.
  3. 79. You must also tell your medical school, and the GMC when you apply for registration, if there has ever been a determination by a UK or overseas regulatory body that your fitness to practise as a member of that regulated profession is impaired. For example, nursing, dentistry or law.
  4. 80. If you have any questions about what you should declare to the GMC or to your medical school , you can get advice from your medical school, a medical defence organisation or the British Medical Association (BMA).

Practical tip #12: Behaviour – outside of medical school

Medical students need to behave professionally outside of work and medical school. This means you should avoid doing things that will undermine the trust patients have in doctors and the public has in the medical profession.

For example, you shouldn’t make discriminatory comments about individuals or groups of people in public or on social media. Your medical school will take action if you do something unprofessional, such as get a caution for drunken behaviour, even if it happened outside of the medical school or over the summer holidays. This means you should take responsibility for your actions and be aware that they may have a wider impact on how your medical school views your professionalism.