A peek into a small sampling of physicians' medical school records reveals several distinct predictors of future professional misconduct, reports a study in this week's British Medical Journal. In particular, physicians who are male (odds ratio [OR] 9.8), are from lower socioeconomic groups (OR 4.28) or had academic difficulties (OR, 5.7) may be more likely to face serious professional misconduct proceedings by the United Kingdom's General Medical Council (GMC).
The study compared the anonymous student records of 59 reportedly misbehaving doctors with a sampling of 236 doctors who did not face GMC proceedings. "The findings are preliminary and should be interpreted with caution. Most doctors with risk factors will not come before the GMC's disciplinary panels," wrote the study authors, Janet Yates and David James, of the University of Nottingham Medical School in the United Kingdom.