Good medical practice

The medical profession is considered as the noblest profession and sometimes doctors are even considered as deities. It is said that either you choose a profession or profession chooses you. But, in the hindsight, the key motive of ‘patient care’ is someway slipping down the ladder.

On the flipside, we also need to consider that in the current scenario the cost of healthcare, and medical education, coupled with patients rushing towards commercialization and best facilities along with the appearance are given more importance than the quality of care and competency of doctors.

In this era, have you ever thought what is the key motive behind a ‘Good Medical Practitioner’?

A Good Medical Practitioner (GMP): 

Checklist to maintain best practice:

Rendering service to humanity:  With full respect towards your profession and dignity of your patient, this aspect marks key in healthcare

Entrusting your care: It is equally important to trust your abilities rendering each and every possible measure for imparting best service

Revising their knowledge: With new technologies and developments happening in the medical world, it is important that doctors continuously update their knowledge to aid their patients with the use of the best possible management plan.

Scientific rationale: It is very important to keep in mind the scientific rationale behind each concept of healing and doctors should follow those rules.

Attending CMEs/Workshops: According to the MCI regulations, physicians should participate in CME programmes, for at least 30 hours every five years. These rules vary from one state to another. Medical practitioners should check the mandates for their states

In this regard, Dr. Amitav Banerjee has highlighted key aspects of a ‘Good Medical Practitioner’

Handling records:

Proper maintenance of medical records goes hand in hand with Good Medical Practice. It serves as the basis on which doctors plan their management and treatment strategies. It is a part and parcel of patient care necessary for legal, ethical and administrative purposes.

Medicolegal focus:

The medical record is the property of a patient and the confidentiality and privacy of his information is very important. It is important to know, if the patient desires to have his medical records, it should be handed over at a reasonable charge. Without taking patient consent, the information should never be passed to anyone.

Instances when information could be shared:

• Referring to another doctor

• Court order, but in that case, the doctor has to submit the original copy and it should photostat 

• Consumer protection cases

• To the police or insurance companies but only on a written request

Doctors and their registration number:

It is mandatory for every physician to display their registration number allotted by the State Medical Council/MCI.

Where should it be compulsorily displayed:

• Clinic

• Prescriptions

• Certificates

• Money receipts

According to the MCI Ethics Code of regulations, it is important to display as suffix to their names and should display recognized medical degrees, certificates/diplomas and honours conferring their professional knowledge and skillset.

Following legal restrictions:

In any situation, the physician should not be seen contravening the existing provisions of law. Following law and care of your patient goes hand in hand, and it is the duty of every physician to abide by the existing law and expose the possibilities of violating the ethical code of conduct by any other health care professional.

Good Medical Practice could be farmed as a myth but the will to conduct it honestly separates a good physician from a bad physician.

Source- Textbook of Medicolegal Issues

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