Professionalism and evolving concepts of quality

J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Jan;22(1):137-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-006-0031-1.


For much of the twentieth century, quality of care was defined specifically in terms of physician characteristics and behaviors. High-quality physicians were well trained, knowledgeable, skillful, and compassionate. More recently, quality of care has been defined in terms of systems of care. High-quality organizations develop and adopt practices to reduce adverse events and optimize outcomes. This essay discusses this transformation from physician-based to organization-based concepts of quality and the consequences for patient care and medical professionalism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / trends
  • Physician's Role*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • United States