Personal Views Personal views

Insight alone was not enough

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7263.773 (Published 23 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:773
  1. Michael Riddall

    Three years ago the General Medical Council (GMC) suspended me from the medical register for one year for the emotional abuse of a therapeutic relationship with a 17 year old man. The original charge had included the words “and sexual,” but this was dropped.

    I wish that the health committee had been empowered at the time of my initial suspension

    My mistake was to think that insight alone was enough, and that my job satisfaction could be based on the special understanding that I felt I had with each patient—an understanding of his or her problem, illness, personality, or own view on life. The majority of my patients collaborated eagerly with this approach, but I suspect that those who did not found me extremely irritating.

    I drank heavily, spent life savings, developed overinflated ideas of my own abilities

    Although I paid lip service to discussion and audit, my …

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