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What to expect from your doctor: a guide for patients

A message from the General Medical Council (GMC):

“Patients receive the best care when they can build a good relationship with their doctor. All patients should know what to expect from doctors and understand how to get the most out of their time with their doctor.

At the General Medical Council we want to try and help create partnerships between doctors and patients to ensure communication that is open and effective. We have published What to expect from your doctor: a guide for patients based on the standards the we sets for doctors in our core guidance Good medical practice.

Our guide for patients says that:

Healthwatch have a key role to play by listening and acting on issues that concern patients and service users. We can make sure you have up to date information about our work which will help you to signpost patients who want to complain about their doctor.

How the GMC works

We are the independent regulator for doctors in the UK and our role is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of patients by ensuring proper standards for doctors.

We do this by making sure that doctors have the right knowledge, skills and attributes to practise medicine in the UK. We also set out the principles and values that constitute good medical practice and we make sure medical students in the UK are educated in line with these principles.

Where any doctor fails to meet those standards, we act to protect patients from harm, if necessary, by removing that doctor’s right to practise medicine.

We are involved in every stage of a doctor’s career from when they enter medical school to when they retire from practice.”

Find out more about our work at

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