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Petitioning General Medical Council, Medical Schools Council

Medical schools must include BAME representation in clinical teaching

We call on the GMC to pass guidance requiring that course material in all medical schools must include ethnically diverse examples of case presentations - especially in clinically relevant instances where disease presentation differs between white and black and minority ethnic (BAME) patients. Clinical descriptions such as erythematous, pallor and rubor are not typical of all patients and students are often not taught otherwise. This is just one example. Medical teaching should be representative of the society we live in. The duty to deliver the highest quality of care extends to all members of the public and if medical education does not actively prepare students for this, this is inconsistent with such values. It is important that BAME patients are acknowledged consistently throughout teaching and not just in highly specific case studies.White normativity in medical teaching means that medical students are often unprepared in recognising signs of certain diseases in BAME patients that do not present in the same way as white patients and/or are not as clinically obvious. It also means that BAME students do not feel represented and included in their studies. Given that most medical schools only have a small proportion of BAME students (especially black students,) the lack of recognition of BAME patients in medical studies can feel increasingly isolating.A pertinent example is the rash in children with meningococcemia, which is usually less visible in dark-skinned people. The teaching of the importance of - and often reliance on - this sign as a diagnostic indicator of meningitis can lead to delays in diagnosis in dark-skinned people, with often fatal consequences.There are countless other examples, such as in haematology, cardiology and many other aspects of medical care which all need to see an improvement in representation in teaching. We must be taught presentation and normality in all patients.Representation is important in all fields and it is vital in medicine, so that future doctors can provide the same high level of care to all patients and in doing so, work to bridge racial disparities in the medical field. Representation can quite literally save lives.

t k
208,069 supporters
Petitioning Austrian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, International Society of Endocrinology, Society for Endocrinology, American Thyroid Association, American Board of Internal Medicine, European Soci...

Endocrinologists: Patients with Thyroid Dysfunction Demand Better Care

Thyroid patients are increasingly aware that there is a deficiency in thyroid knowledge among endocrinologists. As specialists of the endocrine system, the title, endocrinologist, expresses expertise and richness in experience. Despite the promise of this title, we, the patients with thyroid dysfunction, are still suffering. The quality of our lives is diminished due to the difficulty we have finding doctors who are effective in thyroid management. The patient experience seems to demonstrate that there are large numbers of endocrinologists who are unable to diagnose thyroid disorder and/or have outdated knowledge of treatment methods. Please sign this petition in an effort to increase awareness of this problem and hopefully, effect change. Then, spread the word for others to join us: e-mail, tweet, post this petition to your support groups and Facebook profile. "Like" us on Facebook. "Follow" us on Twitter. We need a large support base to gain the credibility we deserve. Visit ThyroidChange for further resources and information. The petition calls for the following actions:1) Doctors must demonstrate proficiency in diagnosis of and treatments in thyroid disorders BEFORE receiving his/her board certification in Endocrinology. This could be a more comprehensive section of the existing board examination that includes the use of testing Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies along with TSH.  Endocrinologists should also be proficient in the use of thyroid treatment which includes the use of natural dessicated thyroid medication, T3-only medication, T4-only medication, as well as combination therapies.2) Board-certified endocrinologists who treat thyroid disorder must keep up-to-date on current thyroid disorder treatments. Such treatments should be incorporated into the already established continued medical education (CME) programs. Continuing education in this area should be maintained to keep certification in Endocrinology. It is inexcusable that endocrinologists are treating thyroid patients and not reading current practices in that discipline such as the use of natural thyroid, T3-only medication and T3/T4 combination therapies.Many patients are speaking out about the inadequacy of T4-only synthetic drugs. Patients on natural thyroid typically express the improvement in the quality of their life. Improvements are also reported by patients using T3/T4 treatments or T3-only, as opposed to synthetic T4-only. However, T4 synthetic drugs are usually the only prescriptions considered. The dosage on the prescription is based on TSH level. Patients report that the TSH level does not necessarily correlate with symptoms. Thus, a patient may have a target TSH level, but still be under-treated. New tests, such as Free T3, Reverse T3 and Free T4, tell a revealing story; however, endocrinologists generally are not utilizing these tests. Instead, they test for Total T4 and Total T3, but these do not quantify what hormones are free and useable within the body. Patients with thyroid dysfunction complain of difficulty with mood management and lethargy. To remedy this, endocrinologists recommend anti-depressants or refer us to psychiatrists. This is a travesty and an oversight. Research demonstrates an improvement of depression using T3 medication. However, thyroid patients find it challenging to find endocrinologists willing to prescribe Cytomel or natural thyroid, which contain T3. The failure of an endocrinologist to correctly attribute the psychological and systemic symptoms of a thyroid patient to thyroid dysfunction perpetuates the patient's illness. This usually leads to the prescription of a pharmaceutical that may alleviate the reported symptoms, but ignores the root cause; the mismanaged thyroid.Thyroid dysfunction and ineffective treatment of thyroid dysfunction is also correlated with high cholesterol levels. When a patient has high cholesterol, endocrinologists prescribe dangerous statins when T3 supplementation can lower our cholesterol more safely.Endocrinologists may be skilled in diabetes and innovative in this sub-specialty, but appear to be lacking the knowledge and expertise in thyroid diagnoses and management.  This is unacceptable. As a result, patients are forced to self-educate, self-treat or worse, receive inadequate treatment and suffer needlessly. Many patients feel failed by the medical community and are turning to online sources and sharing knowledge. One such online source is the method pioneered by Paul Robinson who has created and published a method of administering thyroid hormone, mainly T3, according to circadian rhythm or T3CM. Patients are finding relief with his T3CM method. Paul Robinson is not a doctor, rather, he is a patient who has suffered over twenty years from inadequate thyroid treatment.This petition is bringing the underground movement created by thyroid patients the mainstream attention that it deserves. This is an international patient revolution, and we demand change. It is inexcusable that patients continually encounter endocrinologists who perpetuate their illnesses by insufficient or outdated knowledge.Each signature on this petition represents a patient, or a person who loves a patient who has been misdiagnosed, mistreated or dismissed by their endocrinologist. There must be someone who takes notice and hears our voice. Read our stories. We are collectively asking our endocrinologists to hear our plea. This petition is our initiative to restore our faith in our doctors.We believe that with awareness will come change. Please help us end the unnecessary suffering of thyroid patients worldwide. Written by: Michelle T. Campeau Edited by: Denise Roguz

Thyroid Change™
44,838 supporters
Petitioning General Medical Council, English Government, UHNM , Houses of Parliament, Jeremy Lefroy (Councillor), Theresa May (PM), Matt Hancock (Health & Social Care Secretary MP), Health Service Ombudsman, J...

Stoke GP (of 23 years) facing unfair dismissal due to alleged racism

PLEEEEEASE read this shocking story as we look down the barrel that is pointing at yet another well qualified doctor that is facing the chop for "alleged" allegations of racism. Please note that my opinion is below the extract from StokeonTrentLive.   Royal Stoke doctor who faces inquiry for asking a Muslim mum to lift her veil says he will QUIT after 23 years as a GP due to the 'major injustice of the investigation. A GP who faces losing his job for asking a Muslim mum to lift her veil has revealed he plans to quit due to the 'major injustice' of the investigation. Dr Keith Wolverson 'politely' suggested he woman remove the niqab covering her face as he had difficulty hearing her explain what was wrong with her child during the appointment at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. But the 52-year-old was then 'deeply upset' to be told the incident had been reported to the  General Medical Council (GMC) and he would be subject to a racial discrimination inquiry. He says he has not been allowed to work at Royal Stoke's walk-in centre since the incident last summer. And ultimately, he could be struck off the register by the watchdog. Now the medic has told how is planning to leave the profession after 23 years of helping sick patients whatever the result of the investigation. He told the Daily Mail: "I feel a major injustice has taken place. This is why you are waiting so long to see your GP and doctors are leaving in droves. This country will have no doctors left if we continue to treat them in this manner. I’m deeply upset. A doctor’s quest to perform the very finest consultation for the safety of the patient has been misinterpreted in a duplicitous manner to suggest there has been an act of racism committed. I absolutely no longer want to be a doctor." The Muslim woman brought her daughter, aged ten or 11, to see him at the Royal Stoke's walk-in centre last June as she was worried the child had tonsillitis. But Dr Wolverson requested she remove the niqab because he could not hear her properly. He says she agreed to the request but half an hour after the consultation her husband made a complaint. Dr Wolverson told the Daily Mail: "He sat outside my consultation room and threateningly made eye contact towards me whenever I went out to fetch each patient. He then made a formal complaint and I was prevented from working at the walk-in centre again." It has since emerged that NHS bosses sent the GMC a form outlining the complaints. It says the woman told the doctor she did not want to remove the veil on religious grounds but he refused to continue the consultation unless she did. It claims he was ‘rude’ and ‘gave her a dirty look’, leaving her shocked and crying. She said she felt ‘victimised and racially discriminated’ against. A spokesman for The Doctors’ Association UK, told StokeonTrentLive: "It is of utmost importance that the religious wishes of our patients are respected. However, evidently there are some circumstances where removal of a niqab or burka is necessary for medical assessment and treatment. "Regardless of whether this complaint is upheld, the General Medical Council should consider issuing clear guidelines to protect both doctors, and our patients.” Written by Hayley Parker, for StokeonTrentLive on 19 May 2019.   For those of us who don't know what a niqab is....A niqab is an item of clothing that covers the face, worn by some Muslim woman as a part of a particular interpretation of hijab (modest dress). According to the majority of Muslim scholars and Islamic schools of thought, face veiling is NOT a requirement of Islam. However, a minority of Muslim scholars assert that women are required to cover their face in public. Today, the niqab is most often worn in its region of origin including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. HOWEVER, EVEN IN THESE COUNTRIES, THE NIQAB IS NEITHER A UNIVERSAL CULTURAL CUSTOM NOR IS IT CULTURALLY COMPULSORY.   Obviously, I don't want to step on anybody's toes or upset anyone, but in the same breath we need EQUALITY.  The doctor below was clearly trying to administer treatment to this lady's poorly child, but due to her headwear struggled to understand what she was saying. The reason he asked her to raise her veil wasn't racially motivated, premeditated or for any other reason than the fact that he couldn't understand what she was saying.  If he got the diagnosis or treatment wrong it could've had catastrophic repercussions, and I'm sorry, but as a parent my child's health would ALWAYS come first. Our doctors are few and far between and having had to have our local Stafford hospital (majority) closed, and the staff travelling and working between the two (Stafford & UHNM Stoke), we need all the doctors we can get to cover the greater area and to cope with such pressures. The fact that a doctor of 23 years may be struck off the register for this misunderstanding is DIABOLICAL & UNJUST. The fact that the mother's description of events changed and also the fact that her husband had been "sat outside my consultation room and threateningly made eye contact towards me whenever I went out to fetch each patient" should also be taken into review.  There are signs all over every hospital that state that there is "zero tolerance to mistreatment of our staff", surely this should count as this?! We need to PROTECT OUR PRECIOUS NHS & THE STAFF THAT WORK DAY & NIGHT to make it work as well as it does - whether in Stoke, Stafford, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Edinburgh or Dublin - WE HAVE VOICES THAT HAVE GOT TO BE HEARD!! Therefore, I implore you to sign this petition and share it to friends & family alike so that our National Health Service & all of the staff that keep it working so well are better protected from such ridiculous accusations. Many thanks in advance, M x

Miriam Williams
17,216 supporters
Petitioning General Medical Council, Government, NHS, General Medical Council

Lesleys Legacy - Please sign to stop vital cancer treatment being affected due to Covid �

On Monday 23rd March 2020, 1 day into lockdown, my mums cancer treatment was cruelly stopped after only 2 sessions of Chemo. She received this devastating news coldly over the telephone and it was very unexpected. She was advised that no further treatment was available. Exactly 10 weeks later, after suffering a huge amount of sickness and pain for those 10 weeks, she sadly passed away on Monday 1st June 2020. My mum worked for the NHS for 17 years and absolutely loved her job in the Orthopaedic Fracture Clinic at Salford Royal Hospital in Salford. Sadly when she needed our NHS the most she was let down badly.  There is no excuse for anybody’s life saving treatment to be cancelled or affected due to Covid. There have been specialist Covid hospitals built that are standing empty. This is not acceptable. Why should 1 persons life mean more than another just because they want to get Covid statistics looking better on paper? How can someone who has been fighting and fighting through operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc be told that their life means less than Joe Bloggs who has developed Covid because he was out clubbing at an illegal rave without a mask or social distancing? How can we build specialist hospitals to take the strain off and not use them? How can 1 life be worth any more than another life? How can they expect to develop a wonder drug to get rid of Covid when Cancer has been around since the 1700’s and still we don’t have a cure. Alzheimer’s has been around for over 100 years and still no cure. Stroke - no cure, Leukaemia - no cure, Heart Disease - no cure. The list goes on. We just have to learn how to live with this nightmare and take measures to alleviate symptoms should you catch it. But don’t abandon cancer patients, or Mental Health patients or anyone else in need of medical care. Hopefully Covid is not a life time condition, yes it can be fatal, and yes it’s fast acting, but it can also be prevented, and it can also be cured at home within a few weeks. Cancer is for life, Alzheimer’s is for life, Heart Disease is for life. Don’t let down your existing patients that are suffering with a long term/life time condition. Every patient deserves access to treatment.  I pray our government starts ruling with common sense. I know how it feels to have a loved one taken due to cancer/covid prioritisation. I also have a long journey ahead fighting for justice for my mum ❤️

Hayley Moss
15,026 supporters
Petitioning General Medical Council (GMC), NHS, UK government

Allow doctors living in the UK awaiting for GMC registration to assist against COVID_19

We are a significant community of medical graduates in the UK who will be working in the NHS soon. Many of us are still going through the registration process, despite completing all examinations. For some delays with paperwork, through bureaucracy from our countries, are to blame. Others have completed registration but are awaiting for jobs in the UK. At present, we are all living in the UK. Given the prevailing and unprecedented circumstances, at the heart of the global emergency posed by the Coronavirus outbreak, we are coming forward to willingly volunteer, hands on, without expectation of pay, so we can alleviate frontline workers during this time of crisis. Without your support, our desires and expertise would go to waste, in a moment, when our country and the world is in every need of every possible effort, to vigorously content and fight this volatile disease. Your signature could help us, supporting and alleviating a prospectively overwhelmed NHS, by enabling us to put forward our proposal to the government In doing so, your support would enable us in volunteering at the NHS, at a time of need when efforts and knowledge can't be idle. Please help us help the UK and make a difference today. Thanks for standing up with us against Covid-19. Dr Tatiana Scott On behalf of the team of International Medical Graduates, UK

Tatiana Scott
7,052 supporters
Petitioning General Medical Council UK

Acceptance of Two sitting results in OET Exam for Doctors by GMC

This petition is calling for reconsideration of English proficiency level by the General Medical Council, UK. After many years experiencing difficulties to achieve score 7 in writing, IELTS exam, despite achieving above 7 in all other areas, finally GMC agreed to accept Occupational English Test,an alternative test, to evaluate the level of English knowledge in foreign doctors. GMC criteria to accept Occupational English Test (OET) certificate is: -To take the medicine version of the test. -To get at least a grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing) -To get those grades in the same test  We totally agree with the policy implemented by GMC as their main goal is the protection of the public and patients by ensuring that every doctor working in NHS is proficient in English language; however, - We strongly require the recognition of OET certificate obtained in two sittings, the same as the original exam conducted in Australia for all health care professionals. We demand the GMC to accept clubbing in OET as it has been accepted for nurses. -The knowledge of English of the doctors who achieved 4 Bs in two sittings OET is equal to the one who got 4Bs in one sitting, therefore they definitely have a decent level of English, without affecting the public and patients’ safety.  -Logically, the knowledge of a person who has passed an area in the test, will not decrease within the time, they would strive to pass the other parts.     -Considering that the majority of doctors who are taking OET exam, have already achieved 7.5 overall in IELTS exam for many times.  -The costs for an OET examination is hard to be afforded by the majority of the foreign doctors willing to start working in the UK.   -The cost of each testing area requested separately; however, failing in each area would cost the doctors a full test price which is totally unfair.The concern is that the test is becoming a money making exercise, the same as IELTS exam for doctors. Finally, we should be given the opportunity to use our knowledge, proficiency and dedication to work in NHS.

Lily Gol
6,455 supporters
Petitioning Matt Hancock, Instagram, Twitter, Inc, Facebook, Department of Health, Public Health England, general, Health and Care Professions Council, General Medical Council

Regulate Health Information On Social Media

With celebrities freely endorsing dangerous “diet products” such as appetite suppressant lollipops, diet pills, skinny tea, injectable weight loss medication and IV drips that cause severe abnormalities and risks, such as cardiac irregularities electrolyte imbalance, diarrhoea and an increase preoccupation and body dissatisfaction, social media poses a serious threat to physical and mental health which has resulted in fatalities. The lack of regulation in the public domain and the fact that we know that influencers are receiving financial reward for “promoting” these products poses a serious threat to both mental and physical well being.  Young people cite social media as their main source of health information and the biggest influencers on social media have no nutrition or medical qualifications and therefore no accountability for the danger they put their followers in. The power of social media is having a severely detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of our nation and in some cases, is causing irreversible harm and even death. Dietitians have seen a marked increase in cases of eating disorders, self harm, nutritional deficiencies and life threatening medical complications as a direct result of the advertising and promotion of products and diets via social media. Leading dietitians Sophie Medlin and Hala El Shafie, with the support from The British Dietetic Association want to protect the public from false and potentially harmful nutrition and medical claims on social media. By introducing regulations to prevent influencers from giving medical advice and a system to give qualified professionals a verification mark online, the public will be protected from harmful messaging and the young and vulnerable will know who to trust when using social media for medical information. 

Sophie Medlin & Hala El-Shafie
4,860 supporters
Petitioning General Medical Council, British Medical Association, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Royal college of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College...

No Discrimination: GMC to Grant Same certificate to all doctors on the Specialist Register

We are a group of GMC registered doctors, NHS employed substantive and locum consultants, SAS doctors and clinical fellows, currently achieved or working on achieving the requirements for the CESR process. We have been delighted to know that through intensive lobbying the JDC has managed to achieve parity in the outcomes of different types of trainees in the speciality training program by abolishing the CESR-CP outcome and providing all those completing the program with a CCT instead. The next logical step in this process would be getting rid of the CESR outcome altogether and having a unified outcome for all those who achieve the required standards to be on the specialist register regardless of whether the competences were acquired through a deanery based speciality training program or through non training posts. The general feeling among doctors pursuing self directed training is that the CESR outcome is becoming a basis of discrimination in terms of securing consultant posts, and this was the main drive behind the move to abolish CESR-CP. And that is in spite of the fact that the requirements for the completion of the CESR process are rigorously assessed by the GMC to at least mirror every single requirement for the CCT and at times exceed those (an example of that would be the number of consultants needed to sign off the applicants for the index procedures), and with much less leeway compared to what is afforded to deanery based trainees ( a prime example of this would the current COVID-19 situation where the majority of trainees were given extensions of training to achieve the requirements due to this situation, whereas those pursuing the CESR route were not treated to the same privilege i.e extending the period under review to six and a half years rather than six despite the cessation of almost all elective work). We hence feel that with our CESR process being equally or more difficult to that undertaken by trainees, it is only fair that the outcomes attained are the same on paper to eliminate another potential source of discrimination against those who didn’t take the speciality training programs. And as the majority of us are BMA members we would be grateful if the BMA raises this issue vigorously as it did successfully and rightly with the CESR-CP, and perhaps expands the scope of this discussion to other specialities. 

BAST British Association of Self-directed Trainees
2,551 supporters
Medical schools must include BAME representation in clinical teaching

We are grateful for the widespread and vocal public support for this cause. Like you, we want doctors to be equipped with the essential knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care to all patients. It’s very important that teaching materials including course content and medical textbooks include examples of how diseases and health conditions present in people from different ethnicities and diverse groups. Medical schools design and deliver their own course content for students but we determine the outcomes that must be achieved by the end of the course. This petition has sparked important conversations about how to achieve our existing requirement that students should learn about the needs of patients from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Many medical schools have already done great work to address these issues and share their knowledge with each other. We are now working with schools to explore how to include new and more varied examples so that our future doctors see and learn about all people in their training. Recent events are an important reminder of health inequalities in the UK and it is unacceptable that Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients have, at times, had different experiences and outcomes in healthcare. We want to encourage more BME representation from the outset in medical teaching and training to support black and minority ethnic students, trainees, doctors and patients in the UK. - Prof Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director, Education and Standards at the General Medical Council

6 months ago