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Failures of process at the GMC

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 20 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1415
  1. Richard Colman, independent general practitioner (
  1. York

    The General Medical Council is the organisation which doctors as well as the public are asked to trust to regulate the medical profession. While the members of the public may have doubts about the ability of the profession to regulate itself in their best interests, there are increasing doubts, after the case of the Bristol paediatric surgeons, about the ability of the GMC to be fair in the treatment of individual doctors.

    PCC procedures need to be more robust and less influenced by individuals

    I was privileged to be an elected member of the GMC for five years from 1994 to 1999. I sat on the professional conduct committee (PCC) for two years. For nine out of the 10 weeks I felt comfortable, but one week left me very disturbed. What I considered was my duty to speak led me into conflict with the GMC, which took out an injunction to prevent me from expressing my concerns (25 March, p 822).

    It is the first hearing of a case before the PCC which is …

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