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Duties of a Doctor

The duties of a doctor are stated by the General Medical Council (the regulatory body for doctors) in Good Medical PracticeIt can be summarised into four parts:

Knowledge, skills and performance

  • Make the care of your patient your first concern

  • Provide a good standard of practice and care

  • Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date

  • Recognise and work within the limits of your competence


Safety and quality

  • Take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised

  • Protect and promote the health of patients and the public


Communication, partnership and team work

  • Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity

  • Treat patients politely and considerately

  • Respect patients’ right to confidentiality

  • Work in partnership with patients

  • Listen to and respond to their concerns and preferences

  • Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand

  • Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care

  • Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health

  • Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests


Maintaining trust

  • Be honest and open and act with integrity

  • Act without delay if you have good reason to believe that you or a colleague may be putting patients at risk

  • Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues

  • Never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession.

As a doctor, you are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be prepared to justify your decisions and actions.

Useful Links:
Good Medical Practice