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Please give me some guidance on the GMC guidance: Domain 1

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

By Usman Nasir

Welcome back everyone to this GMC series. Thanks for joining me again, where we are going to break down the first domain of the GMC guidance in preparation for your interviews. If you haven’t already, have a quick look at the previous article “Please give me some guidance on the GMC guidance: The Series” to get a mini introduction to the GMC and then come back to this article.

Now, let us get started with Domain 1 of the GMC guidance…

What does the GMC say in Domain 1?

The first domain is centred around making sure you keep up to date with your knowledge and skills throughout your career as a doctor. After all, Medicine is always changing so you must make sure you keep up with current research to give your patients the best possible care. It is split into 3 strands and they might be useful to remember so you can use them to prompt yourself in discussions about this domain.

Now let us look at each strand in a bit more detail…

1. Develop and maintain your professional performance

In my opinion, I think this is the strand that you can use most effectively during interviews because it is all about the idea of keeping up with the knowledge and the skills you need as a doctor to give your patients the best possible care. This could be from keeping up with latest advancements in Medicine by reading high quality journal articles to engaging with learning opportunities from colleagues (e.g. lectures, workshops, conferences). A career in Medicine means that you will never stop learning so it is vital that doctors make the most of any learning opportunities as this will help them become better professionals for their patients.

How could you use this strand in your interviews?

Show the interviewer how you have taken your learning outside the classroom. Have you attended any conferences, lectures, workshops, or virtual webinars? Do you read articles or medical books in your spare time (if you need any inspiration check out the Scrubbed Up article “The Scrubbed up Book Review” ? These are not only great ways to learn more about interesting topics and ideas, but it also shows them that you have a passion for Medicine. These are also great tools that you can make the most of to find out if Medicine is right for you.

2. Apply knowledge and experience to practice

This strand is very much geared towards how a doctor should apply what they have learnt throughout their training into their practice. It summarises the process that doctors should follow to provide a high standard of care. From assessing the patient holistically (i.e. treating the patient as a person and considering their background and personal views) to ordering the right tests and investigations.

This strand even goes further by talking about the vital components of clinical care. They range from consulting with colleagues, meeting the needs of patients with any treatments that are prescribed and making sure that all treatments that are administered are in keeping with the “best available evidence”.

How could you use this strand in your interviews?

When it comes to this strand this is geared towards doctors that are providing clinical care. It is essentially a checklist for doctors to help them deliver a good standard of care. So, just make sure you are comfortable with why this strand is in the GMC guidance and what it is talking about. Whenever you are discussing this strand, perhaps give a summary of its contents to show your understanding. Reflect upon it with these questions: What do you think it means? Why is it important?

3. Record your work clearly, accurately, and legibly

This strand says exactly what it says on the tin. It is all about clinical records and documents that doctors generate. Its key message is ensuring that others can read your work and that they are both clear and accurate. Other professionals involved in patient’s care need to have all the information available. So, it is vital that nothing is missed out, hard to read or inaccurate. That could have a very unwanted knock-on effect on the next part of that patient’s care.

Also, remember that any clinical records with personal information need to be kept in accordance with data protection.

This strand finishes with a summary for doctors of what clinical records should contain (e.g. clinical findings, investigations and treatments, any decisions that are made etc.).

How could you use this strand in your interviews?

Like the 2nd strand, this a strand that you just need to be aware of. Summarise the contents of it in your own words and reflect upon it. Why is it there? What is its importance?

Top tip: Make sure your work is neatly presented and clear at all times. Apply this strand to your academic studies.


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