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But why do the GMC and the media take such an interest in a relationship between two apparently consenting adults?The answer lies in the unique nature of the doctor-patient relationship and the power imbalance in that relationship.

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If you've sat on a credentials committee, disciplinary panel, or medical-licensing board, you surely reviewed cases of physician-patient sexual involvement." I think we are enormously misguided, if not narcissistic, to believe that there is no amount of time out of the physician/patient relationship that 'resets' the relationship," an emergency physician wrote in response."If 'individual patients often unquestionably submit to a physician's authority,' as an expert was quoted as saying, then we should give up on the concept of medical informed consent, as our patients clearly cannot separate themselves from the omnipotent physician/patient relationship adequately to be able to give such consent.The figures, which BMJ Careers obtained through a freedom of information request to the GMC, showed that the majority (91%) of these complaints concerned male doctors.Doctors who enter into a personal relationship with a patient put their registration at risk and can also expect a high level of media interest should the matter become public.