The U.S. medical system is changing, and the traditional self-governing of the medical profession and physician professionalism is being challenged, according to a series of viewpoints published in a themed issue of JAMA.
The importance of the patient’s well-being in physician professionalism and how medical training encourages this in medical students is one of the major themes addressed in the issue. Also addressed is the topic of ensuring physician competency and professionalism through licensing, maintenance of certification, and accreditation processes.
“The aim of each physician clearly should be to care for and protect the interests and well-being of patients to the best of that physician’s abilities, while making sure her or his abilities are maintained as new discoveries are made,” Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor in chief emerita of JAMA, wrote in an editorial (JAMA 2015;313:1837-8 [doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3597]). “Characterizing the qualities that determine professionalism in physicians is more difficult. Terms used to define the qualities of medical professionalism include sound knowledge and skills (clinical competence), excellence, accountability, sound work ethic, good communication, wise application of legal understanding, ethical conduct, humanism, altruism, and self-regulation with accountability.”
Learn more in the May 12 issue of JAMA.