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Professionalism: The Patient-Doctor Relationship

Powerful Essays
‘The patient-doctor relationship is a privileged one that depends on the patient’s trust in the doctor’s professionalism’ The above quote is the introduction to professional conduct and practice section in the Irish Medical Council Guide for Registered Medical Practitioners, but it is also in essence the introduction to the most quintessential quality in the practice of medicine; professionalism. An image that will always resonate with me will be our introduction to Health in the Community (HC) lecture, our lecturer simply said; “I’m going to teach you how to be a doctor.”. All 120 of us sat, biased, thinking ‘No, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry will teach us how to be doctors’, 11 lectures later and we realised he really was teaching…show more content…
It refers to a doctor who spent brief periods working in Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Mayo General Hospital and University Hospital Galway. A colleague of the doctor in question recalled a serious breech of policy when he was “scrubbing up in preparation for theatre, so that they would not cause contamination during surgery. “A colleague” said he was surprised to see “this particular doctor” re-contaminate his hands by touching a non-sterile area while scrubbing up, as he would expect a medical student to know how to do it properly” (7). This, possibly fatal, lack of communication with his superiors upon being employed about his serious devoid of medical knowledge put lives at stake and risked serious infection for the patient(s) he was operating on. Doctors around him raised suspicion about his communication skills and fitness to practice in relation to patient safety. Along with his lack of communication he also was seen “speaking to a patient inappropriately while trying to obtain their consent to a repeated attempt at a cannulation (intravenous line) procedure when working as a surgical SHO”(8), this particular incident relates to the question excellently, this behaviour is completely inappropriate, furthermore the doctor in question was a Senior House Officer (SHO); a trusted, senior doctor who is looked to for a good…show more content…
Engel in 1997 and I was first introduced to it in the HC module. It taught me that one must always appreciate the full complement of the patient; biological, social and psychological. These are three fundamental titles which combine to form a human being, and if you ignore or miss one you may well treat the patient incorrectly, or, as the nurse in example one, you may easily scare a patient into refusing treatment or withholding important information if you don’t realise that their illness could be entirely psychologically or socially attributed, with no underlying pathological
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