I have been advocating in the Northern Territory for changes in the way doctors present themselves to patients. I want to see transparency of a doctor’s registration status so that patients are aware of who is working under supervision and the name of that doctor’s supervisor. That way patients can escalate any issues to a supervisor if they are not satisfied with the care they are being offered.
Currently in Australia patients have to go to the AHPRA website and look up their doctor. Also, the doctor’s supervisor is not named on that site. How are patients to know who they are dealing with?
I propose the use of 3 colours – red, orange and green – to represent registration status based on supervision requirements. These would have the following meaning:
Doctors accepted into a formal training program would be recognised by a mixture of yellow and green.
Badges might look like this in hospitals:
And like this in primary care:
In general practice the colours could be on the name tag on the door rather than on a badge. The point is that patients could understand where we all fit into the world of medicine, whether in hospital or primary care.
Let’s make it clear for patients. The current universal response by doctors to this challenge is that patients have “no idea about the registration status of doctors”. Well, who is to blame for that? I am certain that they want to know.