Act with honesty and integrity
65. You must make sure that your conduct justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession.
66. You must always be honest about your experience, qualifications and current role.
Only doctors who possess a postgraduate qualification in occupational medicine recognised by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and have particular competencies, acquired through specialist postgraduate training and experience and who maintain these through ongoing continuing professional development, annual appraisal in occupational medicine and participation in revalidation processes and requirements should describe themselves as occupational physicians. They should only describe themselves as ‘consultants’ or ‘specialists’ in occupational medicine if they are eligible for inclusion on the specialist register established by the GMC under the European Specialist Medical Qualifications Order 1995. The BMA publication The Occupational Physician sets out the skills, knowledge and experience that distinguish a consultant in occupational medicine from doctors in other branched of medicine.
67. You must act with honesty and integrity when designing, organising or carrying out research, and follow national research governance guidelines and GMC guidance.2.
You should strive to support ethical research efforts. You should also participate in reporting schemes aimed at improving knowledge about occupational ill-health.
If you participate in research you must not put pressure on patients and volunteers to participate, and you must always put their care and safety first. You must ensure, where appropriate, that approval has been obtained for research from an independent research ethics committee* and that patients have given informed consent; also that the research is not contrary to the individual’s interests. You must follow the principles of the GMC guidance Good Practice in Research (2010) and Consent to Research (2010) and take note of other governance and good practice guidelines issued by the Departments of Health and other authoritative bodies.
* In situations that do not involve direct patient participation, such as audits of process or outcome, and in trials of service enhancement, the necessity for ethical approval is less clear-cut; but if in doubt about this, you should consult appropriately with colleagues who have experience in clinical research.
You have an absolute duty to conduct all research with honesty and integrity:
- you must follow all aspects of the research protocol (or record any departures from the protocol and seek revised ethical approval where necessary);
- you may accept only those payments or gifts approved by a research ethics committee and must disclose those payments or gifts;
- your conduct must not be influenced or appear to be influenced by payments or gifts;
- any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed;
- you must always record your research results truthfully and maintain adequate records;
- when publishing results you must not make unjustified claims for authorship;
- where appropriate, you should communicate and explain the significance of the findings to participants before publishing them;
- you have a duty to report evidence of fraud or misconduct in research to an appropriate person or authority.