The Need for Continuous Education and Performance Appraisal
As professionals, physicians are expected to self-regulate, to maintain standards and assess fitness to practice in a given specialty. The law only sets basic minimum standards (medical degree) to protect the public from non-doctors, and only acts post facto in cases of criminal negligence, malpractice etc. It is up to the profession to set the highest standards from within if unduly restrictive or punitive regulations are not to be imposed. In the UK, the General Medical Council is responsible for maintaining the medical register; it is essential to be on the register to practice legally as a doctor, and the ultimate sanction is to be “struck off. Unfortunately it only requires a few well publicized incidents for public perception of medical competence to be damaged, and there is a need for the profession to be seen to be acting responsibly in setting standards. Whilst it is undeniable that there is a need for all doctors to remain proficient and up-to-date, the means by which this can be achieved is not straightforward.
KeywordsPerformance Appraisal European Economic Community General Medical Council Senior Registrar Medical Audit
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