Off duty dilemmas

12th November 2019 by Rachel Birch

Off duty dilemmas

As doctors, we may sometimes feel that we are never off duty. Even when we are not at work, those close to us may seek our advice on medical matters, or even request for emergency medical assistance. Dr Rachel Birch, Medicolegal Consultant at Medical Protection, addresses this issue in more detail, presenting two examples of common scenarios that doctors may encounter.

Case 1: “I know you are not at work, but….”

Dr F works part-time as a sessional GP to have a better work-life balance. One of her friends has a son called Jamie, who is in the same class as her twins. She approaches Dr F at the school gate and tells her that she has taken Jamie to his GP earlier, as he has a nasty cough. The GP did not give Jamie antibiotics and Dr F’s friend is looking for a second opinion. She sees that Dr F has her doctor’s bag with her and asks her to listen to Jamie’s chest.

How should Dr F handle this request?

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