The Evolution of Professionalism in Medicine and Radiology

Published:March 09, 2016DOI:
      Professionalism and ethics are difficult to define, and it is often a case of “you know it when you see it.” In recent years, there have been calls to renew the focus on professionalism and ethics and their teaching in the medical and allied professions, part precipitated by a perceived and probably real decline in doctors' professional values. Medical professionalism has evolved markedly in the last couple of centuries and continues to change today at a rapid pace, spurred by technological advances and generational change. The reasons to promote medical professionalism include regulatory requirements, aligning our professions' outcomes and behaviors, and the moral imperative that being professional is the right thing to do. Radiologists should emphasize, model, and teach professionalism to our colleagues, allied personnel, and trainees whenever opportunity permits. Medical students now receive teaching in professionalism and ethics throughout their training, and there is a need to continue training formally and informally during residency training. Faculty or those charged with teaching professionalism will need to first understand what constitutes medical professionalism, and here we attempt to define and outline what professionalism looks like in practice. The article concludes with a summary of the opportunities within radiology practice, with examples, for us to exhibit professional actions, values, and ideas.

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