A consumer went to her GP for minor surgery to remove a basal cell cancer from her forehead. On the day of the procedure, the GP advised the consumer the surgery would be carried out by a medical student because the student had better eyesight, and it would cost less. The consumer told her advocate she was unhappy that she had not been informed prior to her appointment that the procedure would be done by a student. She felt the GP had not listened to her concerns, had not offered any other options, and had pressured her into allowing the procedure to be done by the student.


A meeting was arranged, and the GP apologised and agreed that his response to the consumer’s concerns on the day had not been appropriate. The GP practice decided to develop written information and a form for consent, the draft of which would be sent to the consumer for her input. The consumer was happy with the outcome, and said she would not have been comfortable meeting with the GP if the advocate had not supported her.