1. Respect others: patients, professionals, teachers and fellow students
Treat patients politely and considerately, respect their views, their privacy and their dignity; respect the right of patients to refuse to participate in teaching.
In all your dealings with, or in relation to, patients, teachers and colleagues, act without any discrimination, whether on grounds of age, colour, disability, gender, illness, marital status, national or ethnic origins, nationality, perceived economic worth, race, sexual orientation, social status, religious or other philosophical belief.
2. Be an effective and discreet communicator
Always make clear that you are a student and not a qualified doctor; be aware of your limitations and do not exceed your ability when giving information to patients. Understand, accept and agree to be bound by the principle of confidentiality of patient data, and also of information concerning staff and students.
Ensure that you can be easily contacted by University and NHS staff and always reply promptly to all communications.
Contribute to the review of teaching by completing feedback forms as requested by course organisers and reporting any difficulties as they arise through the appropriate channels.
Do not discuss patients with other students or professionals outside the clinical setting, except anonymously. When recording data or discussing cases outside the clinical setting, ensure that patients cannot be identified by others.
Do not use mobile electronic devices – cameras, phones, discs, data-sticks etc. to record and store patient images or any other patient information; never use E-mail, social networking sites, ‘Blogs’, ‘Twitter’ , ‘Facebook’ etc. to share information about patients.
3. Abide by rules and policies, follow procedures and guidelines
Comply with the rules and procedures laid down by the Director of Medical & Veterinary Education, Clinical Dean, supervising Consultant, General Practitioner, Ward Manager or their deputies.
Be in attendance for the hours as directed by them and as required to gain experience of emergency situations. As doctors, you will have to make decisions not to go to places at the times you would like to because of your clinical duties. You have a responsibility to yourself, your financial sponsors andyour future patients to complete your placements. Comply with appropriate current and new health-testing requirements. Be aware of the risks and implications of contracting a blood-borne virus (BBV); contact Occupational Health immediately if you believe that you may have been exposed to a BBV infection requiring further testing and refrain from exposure-prone procedures (EPPs) until cleared.
4. Be open and honest
Do not break the law in any way, never threaten violence, act violently towards others or act dishonestly.
Just one criminal conviction could jeopardise your career prospects in medicine. Do not cheat in examinations: cheating, at any level, destroys trust and those who cheat may also lie and be unfit for medical practice. Inform the Clinical Dean immediately if you are involved in any University or police investigation which may lead to charges being brought; concealment of involvement in a drunken brawl that may lead to prosecution may be viewed as an even greater offence than the incident itself.
5. Take care of your appearance.
Your appearance, personal hygiene and demeanour should always be modest and reasonably conventional.
The appearance of a student or medical practitioner should not be such as to potentially affect a patient’s trust in that person’s medical judgement or standing. Always wear an identification badge and show your face so that you can be recognised by patients, teachers and staff. Head dress routinely worn for religious observance must not cover the face: facial expression is an important part of communication, showing your face also makes it easier for patients with a hearing impairment to hear you and/or lip-read. When examining patients in any clinical setting, observe the clinical dress code: short-sleeved shirts or sleeves rolled up above the elbow; no wrist watches; only one plain band ring (without stones); no white coats; long ties only if securely pinned or tucked in.
6. Take action at an early stage when any problem arises.
Inform the Clinical Dean or a College Tutor immediately if you become aware of any personal problems arising which may put the health and well-being of patients at risk.
Medicine is a demanding profession and, at times, all medical students are subject to stress and anxiety; emotional problems and psychiatric conditions such as depression and eating disorders are not uncommon; do not hesitate in seeking support (see Confidential Sources of Help & Advice) as the earlier a problem is addressed, the greater the likelihood of successful outcome . Seek advice if you think a doctor or colleague has behaved in a way that suggests that he or she is not fit to practise; examples of such behaviour include: . making serious or repeated mistakes in diagnosing or treating a patient’s condition; . not examining patients properly or responding to reasonable requests for treatment; . misusing information about patients; treating patients without properly obtaining their consent; . behaving dishonestly in financial matters, or in dealing with patients, or research; . making improper advances towards patients; misusing alcohol or drugs.
7. Do not abuse drugs and alcohol.
Abuse of alcohol and other mind-altering substances may lead to behaviour that puts patients at risk; problems associated with such abuse, e.g. violent and aggressive behaviour jeopardise your career. Never obtain or seek to obtain drugs that have not been properly prescribed, prescription or non-prescription, for yourself or others by any means.