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Ethical Scenario 23
In your surgery, a patient presents with high caries risk and multiple carious lesions. The dentist isn’t keen to treat this patient and asks for it to be given to a junior colleague who had just joined the practice. The junior colleague is unsure as to why the patient has been given to them. Discuss which issues may arise here?
Excellent Candidate response
- It is essential that colleagues always work with other colleagues in the best interest of the patient. (GDC standard 6)
- In this case, it seems as though the senior dentist doesn’t wish to complete the case due to the abundance of carious lesions. Thus, they have referred the patient to a junior dentist.
- In house referrals are fine, however all must be justified and it is essential that referrals are made to those who are competent to carry out the work, thus ensuring the patient’s best interest and safety.
- The junior dentist has just joined and is unsure about the referral made. The senior dentist should ensure they explain why the referral was made and ensure their colleague is comfortable to carry out the procedure and support them out if needed.