Dr Max Pemberton – Apology
GMC Statement – For Immediate Release
22 Apr 2013
Earlier this morning, Count Rubin (not his real name) appeared on the Today programme opposite Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name), defending the General Medical Council’s decision to implement new guidance requiring doctors who use social media to reveal their identities.
By appearing alongside Dr Pemberton, and not challenging Dr Pemberton’s identity, Count Rubin gave the impression that the Council knew who the real Dr Pemberton was, had got his number, and furthermore the Council knew where he lived.
However, the Council would like to make it clear that it has absolutely no idea who the real Dr Pemberton is, what his number is, or where he lives. Any perception by the real Dr Pemberton that the Council knew who he was, and any perceived threat, actual or implied, felt by the real Dr Pemberton that the Council had his number and knew where he lived was wholly unintentional.
The Council further wishes to make it absolutely clear that, notwithstanding the new guidance, it expects all doctors at all times to exercise their professional judgement when deciding whether to reveal their identity or remain anonymous when using social media. Any suggestion, actual or implied, by the Council that the guidance was compulsory in all circumstances was misguided, fallacious, and wholly inappropriate.
The Council apologises unreservedly to Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name) for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by appearing to know who he was when in fact the Council has no idea who he really is.
Notes to editors:
1. Count Rubin (not his real name) is Chair of the General Medical Council, the independent regulator of the UK’s 250,000 doctors.
2. Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name) is the pseudonym of one of those 250,000 doctors.