All experts worldwide though they define medical professionalism
in different ways agree on that certain core values and behaviors that must be present and which are understood to be vital.
Hospital boards can best strengthen alignment with physicians by establishing a leadership role in quality of care, improving communication styles within the organization, changing perceptions of medical professionalism
, and extending a spirit of collaboration to new joint ventures with physicians.
(1,2) Although not a recent development in world health (and indeed, health care-related strikes have been occurring for at least 40 years now), (3-5) the South African situation must be viewed against a backdrop of ever-increasing debate as to the true nature of medical professionalism
and the obligations that this entails.
In 2002, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation collaborated with the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine to write a document titled "Medical Professionalism
in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter." (1) The charter set outs three main principles, which require that physicians be guided by (in order): 1) patient welfare; 2) patient autonomy; and 3) social justice.
When the sociologists Castelloni and Hafferty studied physicians within the traditional concept of medical professionalism
, they divided contemporary physicians into seven different professional groups that they defined as nostalgic, entrepreneurial, academic, lifestyle, empirical, unreflective, and activist.
Since the future will be influenced by the present just as the present is the outcome of the past, this article will begin with a brief review of the history of medical professionalism
and will then consider its present status.
The alerts contain links to in-depth coverage of issues in ethics and medical professionalism
that can be read in the physician's ample spare time.
I congratulate the instigators and authors of the Charter on Medical Professionalism
for the good beginning they have made and am eager to participate in the arguments that follow, hoping that in this circumstance, abrasive opinions polish rather than lacerate one another...and that they do not go on too long.
The future of medical professionalism
. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2009; 2: (this issue).
** Political and Professional Options for Preserving Medical Professionalism
QI is right not to romanticize traditional medical professionalism
and medical ethics, individual physicians, even charismatic ones, do not heal and care all by themselves, and they do not do so even in the doctor-patient dyad.
An international council of medical organizations has issued a set of guidelines defining medical professionalism