Standards of professional behaviour in medical school

December 12, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Gap Medics students getting excited for their hospital placements! Medical students must adhere to the same behavioural standards as fully qualified professionals and convey that they are fit to practise a medical profession. Guidance published by the General Medical Council (GMC) states that ‘at all times your behaviour must justify the trust the public places in the medical profession’. Such standards of behaviour apply in a clinical and non-clinical setting and it is important that you know what is expected of you as a medical student. 

All medical schools have ‘fitness to practise’ procedures in place and the last thing you want is to find yourself involved in a ‘fitness to practise’ hearing!

So how can you avoid such a situation?

Behaviour in a clinical environment

Throughout your time at medical school you will come into regular contact with patients and you will be expected to adhere to the same principles as a doctor. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few pointers to keep you on the straight and narrow when in a clinical setting:


Behaviour outside of a clinical environment 

You must also be conscious of your behaviour in your personal life, outside of a clinical environment. How you conduct yourself on a day-to-day basis and the lifestyle you choose to lead could call into question your fitness to practise.

If there is regular cause for concern with regard to your behaviour and your medical school believes this impedes your ability to complete your course or puts others and the reputation of the medical profession at risk, you could face fitness to practise procedures.

The following indiscretions will raise cause for concern and should be avoided by medical students at all costs.


For more in depth advice on the standards of behaviour expected from medical students, click here to view guidance from the GMC – ‘Medical students: professional values and fitness to practise’.