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What kind of behavior is expected from the medical profession?

Last week’s post discussed some of the serious ramifications that can result from the unprofessional conduct of someone in the medical field. Like many in Schenectady, you might wonder what type of behavior you should expect from your doctor, nurse or other medical professional taking care of you.

According to an article by the University of Washington School of Medicine, medical professionals should clearly understand the kind of conduct that sets them apart from many other industries. Your doctor is responsible for your wellbeing and, in some cases, your life. He or she sets a trustworthy and respectable image by behaving accordingly. Those in the medical field should be dedicated to serving their patients and treating them with respect, and being honest and compassionate when interacting with those under their care. They should realize that their patients are their first priority, and should always be striving to learn more and improve themselves for the benefit of others.

Does this mean that if your doctor shares jokes and laughs with you, he is being unprofessional? Of course not. The same could be true if your cardiologist gives you a hug to comfort you after an upsetting diagnosis or stressful treatment. However, you might rightfully be unhappy to learn that your obstetrician unnecessarily induced labor to speed up the birth of your baby if she was in a hurry to leave the hospital. It could also be considered terribly inappropriate and unprofessional if you recorded audio of your surgeon and medical staff making disparaging comments about you for their amusement while you were under anesthesia.

When your medical staff is friendly and personable, you may consider it to be good bedside manners and caring conduct. However, when a professional crosses the line by deliberately making you feel bad, teasing you, making unwanted advances or otherwise behaving in a negative or immature way, this is crossing a line.

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