Professionalism: evolution of the concept

Eur J Intern Med. 2009 Jul;20(4):e81-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2008.10.005. Epub 2008 Dec 4.


The concept of professionalism has undergone major changes over the millennia in general and the last century specifically. This article, the first in a series of articles in this Journal on professionalism, attempts to provide the reader with a historical overview of the evolution of the concept of professionalism over time. As a result of these changes, medical school curricula, and contemporary specialist training programs are increasingly becoming competence based, with professionalism becoming an integral part of a resident's training and assessment program.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical / history*
  • Education, Medical / standards
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / history*
  • Internal Medicine / standards
  • Professional Practice / history*
  • Professional Practice / standards