I had once looked up on the AHPRA website (the Australian medical register of pracititioners), and looked up my name, displaying it proudly to my parents.
“Look, I’m a fully qualified doctor” I showed to my parents.
They displayed a look that only any parent would display at one of their child’s proud achievements. They were proud of me.
But aside from that, I had learnt earlier as a medical student, that you could look up the list of deregistered medical practitioners. This was on my anaesthetics term, speaking to the registrar.
“One thing I hold to high regards, is practicing ethical medicine” she had told me.
“If you go on the AHPRA website, there is a list of deregistered practitioners, and the website also outlines in great detail why that medical practitioner was deregistered”.
I was pretty shocked about that, as the registrar went on to tell me how she recognized a classmate’s name amongst those names of deregistered doctors, explaining how her classmate had got involved in intimacy with a vulnerable patient.
I never really thought much more about that AHPRA website, but come a few months back, it got me thinking again. I had been studying some ethics in preparation for a GP interview that is coming up. Taking a bit of time out from study, I decided to have a read about what the deregistrations were about. And let me tell you, the website borderlines on intrusion and voyeurism.
For one, not only is the practitioner’s name fully placed on the site, but the practitioner’s place of practice as well, and several paragraphs outlining exactly why that practitioner was deregistered/suspended. I must admit, it did make for some entertaining read, but I just felt that it was really creepy and intrusive, especially the amount of detail they outline in those reports. And the fact that anyone with internet access can see that information. It’s pretty much the “hall of shame” for the entire world to see. That makes me that little more careful about being ethical as a doctor.
For those interested, it’s up there. On a note, when I visited the site a few months back, there were several more entries, and the amount of detail was so much more. Looks like they scaled the details down a little bit.