The first report of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee highlighted significant concerns about doctors’ lack of awareness and consideration in treating transgender patients.

The General Medical Counsel (GMC) is an organization which helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and doctors. On their web pages, the GMC aim to help doctors see how the principles of good medical practice apply in relation to trans patients, and to explain doctors’ duties under the “Equality Act 2010” and other legislation.

As part of that endeavor, GMC outlines the components of good medical practice, which include the duties of a doctor registered with the GMC:

  • Knowledge, skills, and performance
  • Safety and quality
  • Communication, partnership and teamwork
  • Maintaining trust

Taking a closer look at these four components of good medical practice:

Knowledge, skills and performance

  • Make the care of your patient your first concern.
  • Provide a good standard of practice and care.
  • Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.
  • Recognise and work within the limits of your competence.

Safety and quality

  • Take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised.
  • Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.

Communication, partnership and teamwork

  • Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity.
  • Treat patients politely and considerately.
  • Respect patients’ right to confidentiality.
  • Work in partnership with patients.
  • Listen to, and respond to, their concerns and preferences.
  • Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand.
  • Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care.
  • Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.
  • Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests.

Maintaining trust

  • Be honest and open and act with integrity.
  • Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
  • Never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession.

The GMC say, “Our guidance is relevant to doctors across the UK whatever their area of practice. Some of the advice on these pages will be most relevant to doctors working in primary care in England and Scotland, but the principles are the same for doctors in every specialty throughout the UK.”

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