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As a doctor’s profession is defined by the duty of care to patients, it follows that standards of professionalism are entwined with the strength of the relationship between doctor and patient.
But this relationship doesn’t just concern your clinical work – good communication, politeness and respect, and a caring, empathic manner are all vital components of an effective doctor–patient relationship.
Read the article, Good communication: why it's worth it, says, in paragraph 55: “You must be open and honest with patients if things go wrong.
If a patient under your care has suffered harm or distress, you should: (a) put matters right (if that is possible) (b) offer an apology (c) explain fully and promptly what has happened and the likely short-term and long-term effects.” For more on being open, see Chapter 4, “What to do when things go wrong”.
The GMC has published detailed guidance on maintaining boundaries in Knowing how to maintain this boundary depends largely on a doctor’s self-awareness and their ability to judge the particular situation.
MPS has written extensively on the importance of good communication, partly due to the oft-quoted fact that 70% of litigation in healthcare is related to poor communication.He was reported to the GMC and faced a fitness-to-practise hearing, where he was suspended for a year and had several restrictions placed on his practice.MPS advice: The GMC is clear that doctors should not pursue sexual or improper emotional relations with patients.There are many instances in which doctors have become entangled in their own strong emotional responses to a patient, and this can become further complicated if the patient is also a work colleague, with whom you share large amounts of time and a sense of camaraderie.But although doctors such as Dr Evans would not describe themselves as predatory or exploitative, the fact is that power in the doctor–patient relationship is inherently unequal and to pursue those feelings would be unethical.