Sunday, 28 January 2018

Performance tests kill doctors and patients - Medical regulators in denial by Dr Helen Bright

It is well established that high levels of stress can kill people.

Stress causes profound changes in the body; for example, rise in corticosteroid hormones that actually kill brain cells, some more than others. Memory cells seem to be particularly vulnerable. When highly stressed one is less likely to pass exams, or get good enough grades.

Higher mortality figures also arise through increased suicide rates. In young people suicide is the major cause of death in UK. Read more HERE. Suicides peak in exam season.

Medical regulators and their regulators (paid for by regulators themselves) have been in denial for many years about the effects of their performance tests on doctors and their patients. The tests have been found unreliable.

Holzfigur, Stones, Life Struggle, Resistors
High levels of stress cause memory block and poor performance by doctors when medical regulators examine them in so called performance tests lasting for days.

Following complaints to the medical regulator, instead of regulator examining the doctors' practice patients' cases which may include the inconvenience of travel by the regulator's investigating staff or experts, performance tests were introduced. With so much at stake doctors were more likely to fail. And when good doctors are removed from the medical register the chances are that more patients will die. There is a shortage of doctors now in UK. It is a very sad fact that members of the medical profession were participants in cruel treatment of their colleagues. False allegations by NHS trusts to the regulator of medicl profession contributed to doctor shortage.

In ancient times in Europe, empires obtained slave physicians. Today they come as refugees from war zones, Little do they know what awaits them. Nobody tells them.

Schools for children may manage better the exam stress by having continuing assessment instead. British educational system fails young people. Culture of excessive testing just carries on and on to many places of further education.

While the effect of stress in failing medical exams at universities is recognised by, for example, a review Iranian study there has been no recognition that medical regulators contribute to increased mortality through performance tests in highly stressful situation when so much is at stake. Much more than at the level of a medical student.

Racial stereotypes also play a role in underperformance according to some research.
In performance assessment the burden of proof is on the doctor to prove innocence and not the regulator to prove the guilt. This is against the basic principle of justice: innocent until proven guilty.

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