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Physicians’ Charter on Medical Professionalism

Physicians’ Charter on Medical Professionalism



As you can see there are lots of ideas about what constitutes a professional and professionalism. We offer this Charter as an example of one international effort[3] to articulate fundamental principles and practical manifestations of professionalism.


Physician Charter - Fundamental Principles

  • Primacy of patient welfare - altruism in the service of the interest of the patient

  • Patient autonomy - honesty and empowerment as key tenants in the patient-doctor relationship to aid patients in making their own decisions

  • Social justice -  physician dedication to equity in the distribution of health care resources and the elimination of all forms of discrimination


Physician Charter – Ten Commitments

  • Professional competence - lifelong learning and self-regulation to ensure competence of all members of profession

  • Honesty with patients - informed consent and disclosure in medical error

  • Patient confidentiality

  • Maintaining appropriate relationships with patients - zero tolerance, no form of exploitation

  • Improving quality of care

  • Improving access to care - reduce all barriers to health care

  • Just distribution of finite resources

  • Scientific knowledge - integrity of knowledge

  • Maintaining trust by managing conflicts of interest

  • Professional responsibilities - collaborative work, self-regulation, maintenance of competence [3]



Sometimes things are just so complex only a word cloud will do!












3. Medical Professionalism, Physician Charter Authored by: American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation American College of Physicians Foundation European Federation of Internal Medicine accessed June 22, 2011

All references for this section