One in five doctors has worked with an incompetent colleague

Nearly one in five UK doctors has had direct experience of an incompetent or poorly performing colleague in the past three years, a study shows.

The research published in BMJ Quality and Safety, showed that nearly three quarters of these doctors reported the situation to the relevant bodies.

But of the doctors that did not report the individual, one in three said this was because they feared retribution. A further 14% said they hadn’t reported the problem because they believed nothing would happen as a result.

Meanwhile, the study also showed that only 23% of UK doctors believe doctors should undergo periodic recertification exams throughout their career, but 68% agreed that doctors should participate in peer reviews.

The report concluded: ‘Especially at times of major healthcare reforms… doctors have an important responsibility to develop their healthcare systems in ways which support good professional behaviour.’

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