Training doctors for professionalism: some lessons from teaching clinical medical ethics

Mt Sinai J Med. 2002 Nov;69(6):404-9.


Medical professionalism encourages physicians to place their patients interests above self-interest. In recent years, many medical organizations, including the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the American Medical Association (AMA), have developed initiatives to strengthen medical professionalism. By emphasizing professionalism, supporters of these initiatives hope that medicine and physicians may recapture professional autonomy, decrease public criticism of medicine and physicians, and help physicians regain the moral high ground in the unending struggle with payers, both public and private. One crucial question facing medical educators is whether the concepts of professionalism can be taught to medical students and residents. This paper draws upon the author s thirty years of experience in teaching clinical medical ethics to provide guidance on how to teach the concepts of professionalism to students and residents.

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Clinical / education*
  • Ethics, Medical / education*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians / standards
  • Sociology, Medical
  • Teaching*