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GMC tackles bullying and sexual harassment for doctors


New responsibilities for doctors regarding their use of social media and tackling toxic workplace behaviours and sexual harassment are among key proposals in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) planned update to its core ethical guidance.

The regulator has launched a 12-week consultation on the draft new content of 'Good medical practice', which outlines the professional values, knowledge and behaviours expected of doctors working in the UK. This represents the first major update of the guidance since it first came into effect in April 2013, with the review process launched last year.

The GMC said the draft new update follows months of working with doctor, employer, and patient representatives, as well as other stakeholders, and reflects the issues faced in modern-day healthcare workplaces.

Included for the first time in the draft new guidance is a duty for doctors to act, or support others to act, if they become aware of workplace bullying, harassment, or discrimination, as well as zero tolerance of sexual harassment.

For the first time, the GMC's ethical guidance proposes 12 commitments, including:

  • Make the care of patients my first concern.
  • Demonstrate leadership within my role, and work with others to make healthcare environments more supportive, inclusive, and fair.
  • Provide a good standard of practice and care, and be honest and open when things go wrong.
  • Ensure my conduct justifies my patients’ trust in me and the public's trust in my profession.

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Source: Medscape, 27 April 2022

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