Future Healthcare

Errors of judgement return to haunt you

With the pressures of modern practice, it is easy to make a misjudgement in your professional or even your personal life which raise questions about your integrity. Following our first feature last month, Dr Kathryn Leask looks at three more scenarios in which one-off mistakes had serious consequences.

How to lose friends

Danger triangleA consultant gynaecologist who had recently moved to another part of the country set up a Facebook account to keep in touch with her old friends and neighbours.

Soon afterwards, she received a friend request from a previous patient and, without giving the matter much thought, she accepted. A little later, she received a message from the patient asking for advice about menopausal symptoms which she answered in general terms.

Over the next few weeks, the patient contacted her with further questions on the same subject until she lost patience and unfriended her.

A little later, the GMC contacted the consultant telling her it had received a complaint from the patient. It was concerned the consultant had blurred professional boundaries and failed to advise the patient to consult her own GP.