Medical Professionalism: Promoting Patient and Physician Safety.
Realisation of the importance of medical professionalism has been increasing over recent years as evidenced by publications by regulatory bodies, education bodies and the media. Multiple definitions exist in the literature with significant consistency1,2. The current working definition from the Irish Medical Council3 includes the set of intrinsic values, expressed as extrinsic behaviours which justify the trust between patients and good doctors and between the public and the medical profession. These values and behaviours include respect for patients, demonstrated by patient–centred practice; ethical standards including honesty, integrity, empathy and altruism; reflection/self-awareness demonstrated by reflective practice; personal responsibility for actions including safeguarding one’s own health and well-being; teamwork commitment demonstrated by effective communication and teamwork, leadership and social responsibility demonstrated by commitment to the health of the community. The primary aim of the practice of medical professionalism is patient centred care.