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Podcast helps today’s medical students become tomorrow’s professionals

Issued on 04 March 2010

A major new initiative has been launched by the General Medical Council (GMC) to help medical students to develop and maintain high standards of professionalism throughout their training and careers.

Medical students on a new podcast describe how good clinical knowledge, patient confidentiality and smart dress are all attributes that help to demonstrate high standards of professionalism. Newly qualified doctors discuss the challenging issues they can face and how the professionalism training they received at medical school helps them to offer high standards of care to patients.

Professor Jane Dacre, GMC Council Member and Vice Dean and Head of Education at UCL Medical School in London, features on the podcast:

“Doctors must demonstrate good clinical competence and be able to communicate complex information to their patients effectively. We spoke to doctors and medical students who acknowledge on the podcast that this is one of the most challenging parts of a doctor’s role, especially when facing testing situations on issues like patient confidentiality”.

Throughout 2010 the GMC will continue a programme of work engaging with medical students alongside the podcast on professionalism and an e-bulletin to which medical students are encouraged to sign-up.

The e-bulletin updates medical students on what they need to know from their regulator. In this edition, the GMC updates students on developments in medical education and regulation, including the upcoming merger of PMETB with the GMC and new guidance from the GMC being launched this year. The GMC also asks medical students to get in touch about what ethical issues and guidance they want to hear about in the next e-bulletin.

Other planned activities during 2010 include reviewing and updating content on the student section of the GMC website and working alongside the Kings Fund and the Royal College of Physicians on a series of student roadshows.

GMC guidance Tomorrow’s Doctors sets the standards that medical students have to meet before they graduate. The guidance was published in 2009 and among other things highlighted the importance of communication skills and a good bedside manner as well as ensuring that medical students acquire the scientific background and technical skills they will need to be effective doctors. Tomorrow’s Doctors will be implemented by 2011/12.

To listen to the podcast and subscribe to the e-bulletin, please visit The GMC is also keen to hear your feedback on the podcast.

Further information for medical students is also available on the student pages 'Information for medical students' on the GMC website.


Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact the Media Relations Office on 020 7189 5454, out of hours 020 7189 5444, email, website .

The General Medical Council registers and licenses doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Our purpose is summed up in the phrase: Regulating doctors, Ensuring Good Medical Practice.

The law gives us four main functions:

• keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors

• fostering good medical practice

• promoting high standards of medical education

• dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practise is in doubt

Merger of PMETB with GMC

From 1 April 2010, (subject to legislation) the functions of the Post Graduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) will be transferred to the GMC, creating a simpler and clearer framework for the regulation of medical education and training.

In February 2008, the Secretary of State announced that PMETB would be merged with the GMC, following a recommendation from Sir John Tooke’s Independent Inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers. Following the merger, all stages of medical education and training will fall under the GMC’s remit. For more information please visit or

Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA)

From April 2011, the adjudication of fitness to practise cases involving doctors will transfer from the GMC to a new body called the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator (OHPA). OHPA is being established under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It is being created to ensure clear separation between the investigation of fitness to practise cases and the process of determining whether a professional’s fitness to practise is impaired.

To begin with, the new body will be responsible for making decisions on fitness to practise cases brought forward by the GMC and, in time, the General Optical Council. Over time, other regulators of healthcare professionals may transfer their adjudication functions to OHPA. For more information about OHPA, please visit

The GMC will remain the regulator for doctors, continuing to set the standards for professional practice and receiving and investigating allegations about their fitness to practise.

© 2010 General Medical Council Press Office


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