Today’s definition of medical professionalism is evolving  – from autonomy to accountability, from expert opinion to evidence-based medicine, from self-interest to teamwork and shared responsibility. 

Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter was written in 2002 by the ABIM Foundation, the ACP Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine. The fundamental principles of the Physician Charter are the primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice. The Charter also articulates professional commitments of physicians and health care professionals, including:

  • Improving access to high-quality health care,
  • Advocating for a just and cost-effective distribution of finite resources, and
  • Maintaining trust by managing conflicts of interest.

For many, medical professionalism is the "heart and soul of medicine." More than the adherence to a set of medical ethics, it is the daily expression of what originally attracted them to the field of medicine – a desire to help people and to help society as a whole by providing quality health care. But many physicians today experience profound obstacles to fulfilling the ideals of medical professionalism in practice.

This website, and our work, is dedicated to exploring how physician leaders, health care organizations and public policy can foster medical professionalism as a means to improve health care.

The word cloud below depicts the words physicians most associate with medical professionalism: