Professionalism in Medicine
Reenvisioning Medical Professionalism in the Context of Caring and Character
The Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine (KNN) seeks to understand how current constructs of medical professionalism are serving the medical profession and society. To launch this effort, the KNN convened a group of professionalism experts in February 2020 to reflect on the construct of medical professionalism as outlined in the 2002 Charter on Medical Professionalism, with the understanding it must be recognized as aspirational, inspirational and relevant by physicians and those who work with and are served by them.
The goal of this initial gathering was to identify questions, themes and controversies in medical professionalism that would inform a subsequent, more intensive look at the topic. In addition to reflecting on the enduring tenets of medical professionalism as noted in the charter, the group expanded the conversation by highlighting the challenges of optimizing the systems of care, education, and policy to support the tenets of professionalism. The dialogue called attention to the realization that the construct of medical professionalism must fit within a target health ecosystem including other health professions. A critical insight was the question of “to what extent does America recognize that medical professionalism exists as a component of a social contract?” This question proved prescient when, a short time later, the world was turned upside down by the COVID pandemic. In this time, we saw health professionals living the values of professionalism despite faulty systems and inadequate government response.
by reading the KNN Professionalism in Medicine Expert Advisory Panel Meeting Summary.
The next step in this initiative is continue discussions with input from a more diverse community of stakeholders.