Context Medical educators emphasise responses to medical misconduct, but little is known about medical misconduct and its implications for medical education. This article investigates the nature of medical malpractice in Hong Kong and offers guidance for the inclusion of a curriculum to prevent the occurrence of medical misconduct in medical education around the world. Methods A comprehensive review of judgements made by the Medical Council of Hong Kong during the period from July 2008 to December 2010 was conducted. Each of the 40 cases of inquiry related to medical misconduct were summarised and analysed according to 14 factors. Results Of the 40 cases, nearly half involved only one or two charges. The Council found the defendants guilty of professional misconduct on 148 of 169 charges, and ordered the following four types of penalty: removal order, suspension, warning letter, and reprimand. Cases are grouped into three categories involving: improper documentation, inappropriate management or prescription of drugs, and failure to interact appropriately with patients. The relevant ethical codes or legislation for each category are illustrated. Conclusions Various types of medical misconduct unquestionably caused suffering to the patients involved, their families and society. Hence, it is crucial for medical educators to teach students about the importance of medical ethics and the prevention of misconduct.
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