FSRH consultation response: newly qualified doctors must be able to carry out basic consultations on SRH

Posted 8 January 2018

Date: 08 Jan 2018

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

FSRH welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation on revisions to the Outcomes for Graduates by the General Medical Council (GMC). GMC’s Outcomes for Graduates set out what newly qualified doctors from UK medical schools must know and be able to do.

The Faculty is pleased to see that the revised outcomes are gender neutral. However, at times this means that specific reproductive health needs that women have become invisible in the face of gender-neutral language. The Faculty believes that the outcomes need to reflect aspects of care which are women-specific.

Important learning outcomes for new graduates should include the capacity to carry out pregnancy risk assessments effectively. This outcome requires optimal communication skills in SRH. It is important that graduate doctors possess the ability to carry out basic consultations on pregnancy planning, contraception, pre-conception and abortion care in a sensitive manner that respects choice and shows an understanding of the factors that affect it.

Doctors also need to be aware that opting out of treatment that is legally available and clinically appropriate – the right to exercise conscientious objection – is a serious decision which has the potential to adversely affect patient care. It is crucial that new graduates understand that practical steps must be devised to ensure that patient care is never negatively impacted by a decision to not provide medical treatment due to personal beliefs.

Finally, FSRH would welcome a stronger emphasis on outcomes in knowledge about Public Health. FSRH believes this should be an essential part of the basic toolkit for the next generation of doctors, especially approaches to whole-population care including epidemiology, prevention and health promotion.

Download the full consultation below