First, do no harm – to patient and GP alike

It had taken me several circuits to spot the notice, discreetly displayed on a desk in the corner of the office block foyer. I knew which level my meeting was on, but all I could see in the lobby in the Melbourne CBD were the security barriers. These required a swipe card, something denied to me as a ‘casual visitor’.

It’s an all too familiar scenario today – banks, hospital emergency departments, government offices. The messages confront us: ‘Stop! You don’t belong here. You are an intruder and may be unsafe!’ 

Lest you think this piece is going to be another tirade against AHPRA, I have always been a supporter of the move to national registration. I’m glad we now have some form of nationally consistent professional identity. 

No, this is about the concept of power, and the responsibility of those that have power to use it judiciously. The concept is not new, and recurs in speeches and