Stay between 2 and 8 to (safely) vaccinate
Flu season reminds us that vaccination storage is an important issue in general practice. Vaccines are delicate biological products: if we don’t protect them, they don’t protect our community. Is your practice meeting the national standards?
Cryotherapy: Are you getting it right?
Cryotherapy is often used in general practice, skin cancer medicine and dermatology to treat a number of common skin lesions. It is an established and inexpensive treatment and one of the most commonly used MBS items in general practice in Australia. However, if the procedure is conducted incorrectly, it can cause additional pain and scarring.
Risks associated with Postnatal Depression can be unpredictable and difficult to assess.
A woman is at the highest risk of PND during her pregnancy and in the first two postnatal years after giving birth. Read more
Domestic violence: Can you spot it?
It has been estimated that a GP may see as many as five women a week who present with symptoms of violence in the home. Yet the GP is unaware of the violence. Read more
Recent academic research demonstrates there is a correlation between disrespectful behaviour by practitioners within medical teams and poorer patient outcomes. We talk to Dr Sarah Michael, a psychiatrist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, about the Ethos Program which aims to encourage respectful behavior between colleagues to support better patient outcomes. Read more>
The Good Medical Practice - Code of Conduct says "whenever possible avoid providing medical care to anyone with whom you have a close personal relationship." Read more
Sometimes, things go wrong. How you react to a patient's distress may be the tipping point as to whether or not they lodge a formal complaint which could lead to a stressful investigation by medical regulators. However, many doctors fear that saying "sorry" could be an admission of liability which could later be used against them. Read more.
Hot button issues
Each year, the Medical Council considers about 2300 complaints and notifications about medical practitioners in NSW. While complaints cover a wide range of issues, there are a few subjects that come up frequently. These resources may help you avoid a complaint in these areas: Read more
Healthier doctors = healthier patients
The Medical Council speaks with Dr Leanne Rowe about the mental health pressures doctors face, the barriers that can stop colleagues from getting help and some practical steps for better self-care. Read more>
Doctors must reach out to colleagues suffering in silence
It's time doctors and medical students trying to cope with mental health issues can feel comfortable and supported in seeking treatment.
Helping the healers: Doctors' Health Advisory Service
An independent and confidential service where doctors can seek support and advice.Read more
The question of whether or not you can or should record conversations during consults arises fairly frequently. Whether or not this is permissible is a complex question as every state has slightly different legislation about what is allowed, depending on the circumstances. Read more
Asking for advice on a diagnostic photo is as simple as snap, click, send. But what is the purpose of taking the photo? Did you seek the patient’s permission? How can you maintain confidentiality once you hit send? Read more see how to avoid breaching patient privacy.
Communication between hospitals and GPs can have an enormous impact on the health outcomes of patients and it all starts with the humble discharge summary. Read more
Medicines and prescribing
Prescribing drugs of addiction - the knowledge gap
The law in NSW requires doctors that prescribe or supply a drug of addiction to obtain an authority from the Ministry of Health. Read more
Doctors over prescribing opioids
Australians are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from an overdose of an opioid prescribed by a doctor, or stolen from a hospital, than from a street drugs. Read more
Interview with Bruce Battye Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit
The Director the NSW Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit, Bruce Battye discusses what his unit does and key prescribing issues doctors need to be aware of. Read more
Have you had prescriptions lost or stolen? Why you need to report
Tips on how to avoid having scripts forged or stolen, and what you need to do if they are. Read more.
Regulation of doctors
Most NSW doctors know the Medical Council’s paramount responsibility is to protect the public and that it can and should take action when a doctor’s professional performance or conduct puts patients at risk. Less well known is the Council’s obligation to act “in the public interest”. This statutory obligation ensures that the regulation of NSW medical practitioners must maintain trust in the profession. Read more