Professionalism in medical education

Mohamed Mostafa Al-Eraky, Hesham Fathi Marei


Medical professionalism encompasses the expected and desired behaviours and attributes towards which physicians aspire while serving their patients and society. Professionalism has been recently acknowledged as a hot topic in medical education literature. This article discusses three issues: (1) Why professionalism has recently become a hot issue in the literature? (2) Is there a global model of professionalism that is acknowledged world-wide? (3) How professionalism can be addressed in medical education?  Different models of professionalism have been discussed from different cultures along with challenges for addressing professionalism in medical education. The article further discussed the difference between conceptualizing professionalism as a list of attributes or as a belief system and highlight the corner stone of professionalism in a particular society.

Full Text:



Wearn A, Wilson H, Hawken SJ, Child S, Mitchell CJ. In search of professionalism: implications for medical education. N Z Med J. 2010;123(1314):123-32.

Hafferty FW, Castellani B. The increasing complexities of professionalism. Acad Med. 2010;85(2):288-301.

Project of the ABIM Foundation AAF, Medicine* EFoI. Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(3):243-6.

Hafferty F. Toward the operationalization of professionalism: A commentary. Am J Bioeth. 2004;4(2):28-31.

Steinert Y, Cruess S, Cruess R, Snell L. Faculty development for teaching and evaluating professionalism: from programme design to curriculum change. Med Educ. 2005;39(2):127-36.

Talbott JA. Professionalism: Why now, what is it, how do we do something? J Cancer Educ. 2006;21(3):118-22.

Fishbein RH. Professionalism and ‘the master clinician’–an early learning experience. J Eval Clin Pract. 2000;6(3):241-3.

Cruess RL, Cruess SR, Johnston SE. Professionalism and medicine's social contract*. J Bone Joint Surg. 2000;82(8):1189-1189.

Flynn MB. Power, professionalism, and patient advocacy. Am J Surg. 1995;170(5):407-9.

Brennan TA, Rothman DJ, Blank L, Blumenthal D, Chimonas SC, Cohen JJ, et al. Health industry practices that create conflicts of interest: a policy proposal for academic medical centers. JAMA. 2006;295(4):429-33.

Wynia MK, Latham SR, Kao AC, Berg JW, Emanuel LL. Medical professionalism in society. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(21):1612-6.

Angell M. The doctor as double agent. Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 1993;3(3):279-86.

Papadakis MA, Teherani A, Banach MA, Knettler TR, Rattner SL, Stern DT, et al. Disciplinary action by medical boards and prior behavior in medical school. N Engl J Med. 2005;353(25):2673-82.

Ho MJ, Yu KH, Hirsh D, Huang TS, Yang PC. Does one size fit all? Building a framework for medical professionalism. Acad Med. 2011;86(11):1407-14.

Chandratilake M, McAleer S, Gibson J. Cultural similarities and differences in medical professionalism: a multi-region study. Med Educ. 2012;46(3):257-66.

Adkoli B, Al-Umran KU, Al-Sheikh M, Deepak KK, Al-Rubaish AM. Medical students' perception of professionalism: A qualitative study from Saudi Arabia. Med Teach. 2011;33(10):840-5.

Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of biomedical ethics. 6th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2008.

Al-Eraky MM, Chandratilake M. How medical professionalism is conceptualised in Arabian context: A validation study. Med Teach. 2012;34(s1):S90-S5.

Pan H, Norris JL, Liang YS, Li JN, Ho MJ. Building a professionalism framework for healthcare providers in China: A nominal group technique study. Med Teach. 2013;35(10):e1531-e6.

Al-Eraky MM, Donkers J, Wajid G, van Merrienboer JJG. A Delphi study of medical professionalism in Arabian countries: The Four-Gates model. Med Teach. 2014;36(S1):S8-S16.

Felstead I. Role modelling and students' professional development. Br J Nurs. 2013;22(4):223-7.

Cruess S, Cruess R, Steinert Y. Teaching professionalism across cultural and national borders: Lessons learned from an AMEE workshop. Med Teach. 2010;32(5):371-4.

Swick HM, Szenas P, Danoff D, Whitcomb ME. Teaching Professionalism in Undergraduate Medical Education. JAMA. 1999;282(9):830-2.

Harden RM, Crosby JR, Davis MH. AMEE Guide No. 14: Outcome-based education: Part 1-An introduction to outcome-based education. Med Teach. 1999;21(1):7-14.

Morihara SK, Jackson DS, Chun MB. Making the professionalism curriculum for undergraduate medical education more relevant. Med Teach. 2013;35(11):908-14.

Jameel A, Noor SM, Ayub S, Tekian A. Why is teaching professionalism essential in residency programmes? Med Educ. 2013;47(5):531-2.

Birden H, Glass N, Wilson I, Harrison M, Usherwood T, Nass D. Teaching professionalism in medical education: a Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) systematic review. BEME guide no. 25. Med Teach. 2013;35(7):e1252-e66.

Joyner BD, Vemulakonda VM. Improving professionalism: making the implicit more explicit. J Urol. 2007;177(6):2287-91.

Bryden P, Ginsburg S, Kurabi B, Ahmed N. Professing professionalism: are we our own worst enemy? Faculty members' experiences of teaching and evaluating professionalism in medical education at one school. Acad Med. 2010;85(6):1025-34.

Gaiser RR. The teaching of professionalism during residency: why it is failing and a suggestion to improve its success. Anesth Analg. 2009;108(3):948-54.

Hatem CJ. Teaching approaches that reflect and promote professionalism. Acad Med. 2003;78(7):709-13.

Boenink AD, Jonge Pd, Smal K, Oderwald A, Tilburg Wv. The effects of teaching medical professionalism by means of vignettes: an exploratory study. Med Teach. 2005;27(5):429-32.

Hill-Sakurai LE, Lee CA, Schickedanz A, Maa J, Lai CJ. A professional development course for the clinical clerkships: developing a student-centered curriculum. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23(7):964-8.

Bernabeo E, Holmboe E, Ross K, Chesluk B, Ginsburg S. The utility of vignettes to stimulate reflection on professionalism: theory and practice. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2013;18(3):463-84.

Horlick M, Masterton D, Kalet A. Learning skills of professionalism: a student-led professionalism curriculum. Med Educ Online. 2006;11:26.

Nomura H. Developing the “why” facet of medical professionalism. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2008;24(1):31-4.

Wynia MK, Papadakis MA, Sullivan WM, Hafferty FW. More than a list of values and desired behaviors: A foundational understanding of medical professionalism. Acad Med. 2014;89(5):712-4.


  • There are currently no refbacks.