Medical professionalism and the doctor-patient relationship

Perspect Biol Med. 2008 Autumn;51(4):547-53. doi: 10.1353/pbm.0.0054.


The practice of medicine increasingly poses obstacles to the cultivation of strong relationships between physicians and their patients. The current discussion of medical professionalism aims to identify some of these obstacles and to improve both the doctor-patient relationship and the quality of medical care. In this essay, we explore professionalism within the context of the relationship between physician and patient and examine the concrete actions, behaviors, and qualities that medical professionalism requires of physicians in today's challenging environment.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Professional Practice*
  • Quality of Health Care