Don't mislead public through signboards, cards, NMC tells doctors
The book is a result of the learnings by a group of experts from hearing cases of misconduct against doctors
Doctors should not use an unusually large signboard and write on it anything other than their name, qualifications, titles, speciality, or registration number, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has suggested, saying their prescription papers should also have the same content.
It is improper to affix a signboard in a chemist's shop or in places where the doctor does not reside or work, the NMC's Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) said in its E-Book: "Professional Conduct Review - Lessons from Case Archives".
The book also highlighted that a trust deficit in the doctor-patient relationship leads to litigation against the doctors and emphasised that the most common cause of complaints against doctors is due to a communication gap.
The commission stated that care should be taken not to mislead the public through signboards, visiting cards, announcements, etc.
Medical practitioners may acquire skills and training in various areas related to a particular field, but the use of the title 'consultant/specialist' should be restricted to those who are qualified in the particular speciality, it said.
As an appellate body, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the NMC has been hearing cases of misconduct and passing judgments.
“The need to disseminate the learnings from the complaint cases against doctors was felt right from the beginning,” Dr Yogender Malik, editor of the booklet and member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the NMC, said.
The thought was shared with the board and a group of experts was formed.
They worked very hard, going through hundreds of pages of each case and summarised them without losing the essence of the case and the message, he stated.
The case studies in the book show that it is very difficult for a patient to differentiate between ethics, conduct, and negligence, the NMC said.
Doctors too feel that patients have no right to complain unless there is harm, the NMC stated.
(With agency inputs)