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Analysis Ethical Debate

Students whose behaviour causes concern: The GMC’s view

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 29 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2876
  1. Joan Trowell, member
  1. 1General Medical Council, London NW1 3JN
  1. jtrowell{at}

    What should you do when you see a fellow student behaving inappropriately? After a group of students wrote to the BMJ about their experience during an elective (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2874), we sought the opinions of an ethicist (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2882), a dean (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2884), a GMC representative, and a lecturer from an African university (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2875)

    These authors have shown a good understanding of the ethical professional behaviour expected of both medical students and doctors. It takes great personal resolve to confront a colleague whose behaviour is cavalier and who deliberately puts patients at risk. These students, in difficult circumstances far from home, tackled the situation maturely and are right to seek mechanisms to communicate their concerns about the inappropriate behaviour of a fellow student.

    Concerned students

    Students and doctors have a professional duty to work within the limits of their professional competence, to know …

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