Intended for healthcare professionals


GMC: Doctors must act when they witness sexual harassment, says updated policy

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 22 August 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p1936
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

The General Medical Council (GMC) has set out its position on sexual harassment by doctors towards other doctors for the first time in its professional standards guidance.

The updated version of Good Medical Practice,1 which details the principles, values, and standards expected of doctors working in the UK, also sets out for the first time what doctors should do if they witness bullying or harassment.

Carrie MacEwen, GMC chair, said, “Sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination are entirely unacceptable. Where workplace cultures of this kind of behaviour go unchecked, they are detrimental to wellbeing, performance, and patient safety. Doctors are increasingly, and bravely, speaking out about it, and as a regulator, it is important we leave no doubt that such behaviour has no place in our health services.”

The updated guidance says that doctors “must not act in a sexual way towards colleagues with the effect or purpose of causing offence, embarrassment, humiliation or distress.” This includes …

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