Good Medical practice: Professionalism, Ethics and Law
The primary purpose of this book is to provide in a single accessible format information central to the professional, ethical and legal requirements of being a doctor. It covers a core curriculum for medical students who must obtain a grounding in the elements of what constitutes being a medical professional [1–2]. The same material is essential for doctors in training and for international medical graduates coming to work in Australia. This book should be a useful and readily accessible starting point for busy doctors looking for answers to issues as they arise in practice. This edition brings together updated material generally not found in textbooks of clinical medicine. Although most doctors are now equipped to seek information electronically, this can take time as information is not accessed readily or integrated at a single source, may not be relevant to the local setting and may not be quality controlled.
Since the 1997 edition of our book there have been significant developments in regard to the importance of professionalism. Medical boards here and overseas have focused attention on the breadth of professional skills needed for good medical practice; indeed the UK General Medical Council's primer for doctors is called just that, Good Medical Practice. More recently, medical indemnity organisations and health-care institutions have been active in promoting good professional attitudes and behaviour, under the banner of ‘risk management’, to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes.