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Clin Med (Lond). 2006 Jan-Feb;6(1):68-71.

Medical professionalism: the trainees' views.

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MRCP(UK), Trainees Committee, Royal College of Physicians, London.


Medical professionalism is deeply embedded in medical practice in the UK but, with changes in the modern healthcare climate, its nature and role have been increasingly challenged. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) therefore convened a working party to consider the concept of medical professionalism, to clarify its value and purpose, and to define it. As part of this project, the RCP Trainees Committee was commissioned to survey trainees to obtain their views on the matter. A questionnaire was sent to 19,190 medical and surgical trainees, and 4,576 medical students; 2,175 responses were received. The results were clear. Junior doctors and medical students see medicine as a profession which is learnt through apprenticeship and defined by responsibility towards patients, and which requires qualities such as altruism and humility. They believe that professionalism maintains and improves patient care; that standards of care should be defined and regulated by the profession; and that training should be directed by the profession. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority think that a reduction in medical professionalism would lead to people leaving the profession.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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