Graduating from medical school is a significant milestone in your life, paving the path for a successful future medical career. It's certainly an accomplishment to be proud of, and the sunshine state is the perfect place to start your residency program. However, being a fresh graduate doesn't mean that it's smooth sailing from now on. Your residency program is as essential to your progress as your former medical school since you receive intensive hands-on experience in real-world settings.
As a medical resident, you'll face long hours and work with supervisors, medical teams, and patients. And while good performance and solid knowledge are a must, so too is ethical behavior. As a physician, society holds you accountable for the lives of your patients. As a resident, your supervisors do, and one major mistake can set you behind.
Dismissal from a Florida Medical Residency Program
As a new physician, your residency program allows you to apply what you've learned in medical school and train in your specialty. Getting into a program of your choice is an accomplishment in itself, and Florida has over 260 residency programs throughout the state. Training in cities like Orlando, Miami, or Jacksonville gives you a solid start to your career. However, despite the many advantages of these programs, they can come with drawbacks if you're not careful.
Every medical residency program has specific requirements and standards that all physicians must follow. You'll have to accommodate them and your supervisors and improve your progress over time. The long work hours and new experiences may not be an issue for some. Still, others may find the pressure challenging to manage, and their performance and behavior falter. Repeated mistakes, egregious violations, ethical concerns, and lack of progress will not only set you back – they may lead to dismissal from your program.
Ethical and Professional Behavioral Expectations
Being a doctor doesn't just mean being good at what you do – it's also about being a responsible and ethical professional. All doctors must follow the national codification of medical ethics established by the American Medical Association (AMA). When you take the Hippocratic Oath, you pledge to provide care that rests on a foundation of compassion and quality. Unethical behavior comes in many forms. One mistake can quickly lead to significant repercussions from the residency board, your supervisors, and even the public. Examples of ethical and professional violations in this field include:
- Discriminating against others based on their age, religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation
- Taking substances from the hospital pharmacy without reason or authorization
- Being disagreeable, chronically angry, and refusing to cooperate with medical staff
- Public intoxication, DUIs, and driving under the influence
- Engaging in a conflict of interest for personal gain
- Physical assault and violence
- Taking or offering bribes
- Sexual misconduct against patients and coworkers
- Failing to manage your stress levels appropriately and quickly becoming overwhelmed
- Anger/behavioral issues that lead to a decline in your quality of care
- Disrespecting staff members, supervisors, and patients
While not an exhaustive list, these actions give you an idea of what behaviors count as unethical and the many ways they manifest in a work or public setting. It is not unheard of for medical residents to engage in dangerous behavior that makes national headlines. Your residency programs set ethical and behavioral expectations to maintain a professional atmosphere in your workplace and to fine-tune your personality to meet the challenges that arise in the future.
Competency and Performance Issues
According to the AMA, physicians must provide competent care and be attentive to issues that may undermine their ability to gain vital skills. As a result, residency and fellowship programs test those skills and create mechanisms to assess physician knowledge. The Accreditation Council for Medical Education (ACGME) also highlights competency requirements. It provides a list of six competencies that all residents must demonstrate to practice medicine in the future. They are:
- Practice-based learning and improvement
- Systems-based knowledge
- Patient care and procedural skills
- Medical Knowledge
- Interpersonal and communication skills
Additionally, the ACGME also has a list of milestones unique to each specialty that complement the core competencies. Their ultimate role is to enhance a resident and fellow's experience to quantify their readiness and determine how practical their medical residency training was overall.
Medical residents must continuously strive to improve their knowledge, stay up-to-date on the most recent technologies and systems-based practices, and hold both themselves and their colleagues accountable for mishaps. These standards exist to ensure that patients receive the best care possible, as their lives are in the hands of their physicians if something goes wrong.
Contacting an Attorney-Advisor
Ethical and competence issues can significantly affect your residency. They may lead to multiple problems that get in the way of your training. However, physicians, as human beings, can and will make mistakes. Although their rigorous training minimizes those risks, the pressure to perform and succeed can lead to difficulties. One example of this is the long hours you must complete to finish your program. On average, a medical resident works up to 80 hours a week. Since regular or corporate positions are only half of those times, it leaves much room for error.
Overtired and overworked, some residents commit actions that they regret. However, these actions should not permanently destroy their reputation or cause them to exit their residency programs.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento understands the pressure that Florida medical residents face. With years of experience helping residents, Attorney-Advisor Lento works hard to improve your chances of a favorable outcome if your ethics or competence come under scrutiny.
You work hard and experience stress every day on your journey to becoming a physician. Don't wait until it's too late to take constructive action if your behavior or competency falls into question. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a discreet and thorough consultation about your options.