J Med Ethics 33:667-670 doi:10.1136/jme.2006.017947
  • Teaching and learning ethics

Inappropriate attitudes, fitness to practise and the challenges facing medical educators

  1. Demian Whiting
  1. Demian Whiting, Division of Primary Care, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK
  • Received 14 June 2006
  • Revised 13 October 2006
  • Accepted 16 October 2006


The author outlines a number of reasons why morally inappropriate attitudes may give rise to concerns about fitness to practise. He argues that inappropriate attitudes may raise such concerns because they can lead to harmful behaviours (such as a failure to give proper care or treatment), and because they are often themselves harmful (both because of the offence that they can cause and because of the unhealthy pall that they may cast over relations between healthcare practitioners and patients). He also outlines some of the challenges that the cultivation and assessment of attitudes in students raise for medical educators and some of the ways in which those challenges may be approached and possibly overcome.


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    objective structured clinical examination