Teaching and learning in general practice: ethical and legal considerations for GP teachers and medical students

Michaela Kelly, Nancy Sturman and David Pakchung
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50593
Published online: 18 May 2020

Differences between general practice and hospital settings have ethical and legal implications for teachers and learners

The general practice setting provides a learning environment that creates a unique ethical and legal milieu for the general practitioner, the patient and the student. It is a less formal, more intimate and less anonymous setting than the hospital environment, and GPs often have long‐established relationships with patients and detailed knowledge of their circumstances. As a community‐centred enterprise, social connections between patients, their families, practice staff and the GP, and sometimes also students, may foster unintended breaches of confidentiality and a vulnerability to boundary crossings.1

  • Michaela Kelly1
  • Nancy Sturman1
  • David Pakchung2

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Avant Mutual Group, Brisbane, QLD



We thank Georgie Haysom (Head of Advocacy, Avant Mutual) and Catherine Hughes (Communications Manager, Advocacy Avant Mutual) for their review of the manuscript and their revision suggestions.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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