• Medical Professionalism - Introduction


    Welcome to this Open Online Course on Medical Professionalism. It is available for self enrollment and self paced study. It was prepared by Professors Kichu Nair, Tim Wilkinson, Dick Heller and Drs Mohamed Haroon and Sergio Diez. The concepts are general, and we hope that you will be able to apply them in your own context.

    This course - an Open Online Course (OOC) - has been prepared by Peoples-uni, an educational initiative providing online Public Health capacity building for health professionals. The course provides basic introduction to key aspects of the issues of medical professionalism. You may want to explore other courses on this site or go to http://peoples-uni.org if you wish to acquire more in-depth knowledge of any particular aspect of Public Health.

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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

    We hope that after going through this resource, you will:

    • Understand the broad concepts of Medical Professionalism

    • Apply the knowledge gained to your own practice

    How to navigate the course

    Each topic comprises some introductory remarks. To access resources we think you will find interesting - click on the collections of resources in each section. There is a forum in each topic for reflection and each topic also has a quiz  to check your understanding of some of the concepts in that topic. Again click on the hyperlinks to take you to these items in each topic.

    We encourage you to reflect on what you have learned or comment on the course. When you click on the blue hyperlink in each topic labelled reflection, you will be able to add a new topic or respond to a previous one. You may want to share your learning from this and other readings, comment on the topics from your own experience, comment on others' posts, or provide feedback on how we can improve the content and presentation.

    In the final topic you will see that you can gain a Certificate of Completion - the requirements for this are to complete the quiz in each topic. This is a self-directed course, to be taken at your own pace. We encourage you to reflect on the issues, maybe make notes as you go along as this is a good way to be sure that you can internalise the information presented and the lessons to learn from it. This can then become part of your personal development plan.

    If you are stimulated to learn more, there are a number of other Open Online Courses on this site, and Peoples-uni has a number of modules for individual study for CPD or towards an MPH. 

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    There are a range of definitions of Medical Professionalism, as will be discussed during the course, but one from the Australian Medical Association is: 

    "Medical professionalism embodies the values and skills that the profession and society expects of doctors. Through adherence to medical professionalism, doctors fulfil their duties to patients and the wider public."

    This course explores various aspects of Medical Professionalism. There are 5 main Topics - each one includes the competences, or learning outcomes, you can derive from exploring the issues, a number of resources to read (click on the blue hyperlinks to take you to the resource directly), and a suggestion for how to reflect on the issues.

    The course is built around the set of 10 professional responsibilities identified in 'Medical Professionalism in the new Millennium: A Physician Charter' by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the Kings Fund report 'On being a doctor: Redefining medical professionalism for better patient care'., and the paper by Wilkinson, Wade and Knock A Blueprint to Assess Professionalism: Results of a Systematic Review.

    A number of other resources are drawn from various credible sources - each one of them is freely available online as free or open source resources.

     Ways to navigate the course: Click on the blue 'hyperlinks' to take you to either a resource or to the reflection forum. You can post your reflection to the forum if you wish, and see the comments by others who have posted.

    Note: you will earn a Certificate of Completion if you access the resources in each Topic and pass the quiz at the end!

  • Medical Professionalism Home Page



    Introduction

    This course provides online Public Health capacity building for health professionals. It provides a basic introduction to key aspects of the issues of medical professionalism. The course is built around the set of 10 professional responsibilities identified in 'Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter' by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Kings Fund report 'On being a doctor: Redefining medical professionalism for better patient care' and the paper by Wilkinson, Wade and Knock ‘A Blueprint to Assess Professionalism: Results of a Systematic Review.’

    The course is designed to help you: 

    1. Understand the broad concepts of Medical Professionalism
    2. Apply the knowledge gained to your own practice


    This course is an Open Online Course (OOC) and was prepared by Professors Kichu Nair, Tim Wilkinson, Dick Heller, and Drs Mohamed Haroon and Sergio Diez. It has been adopted from Peoples-uni and was further developed by NextGenU.org (NGU). It was sponsored in part by the Annenberg Physician Training Program (APTP).

    There are five (5) modules to complete, which include:

    Module 1: Introduction to Medical Professionalism and Definitions
    Module 2: Altruism and Commitment to Patients’ Interests.
    Module 3: Physician Self-Regulation and Maintenance of Competence
    Module 4: Civic Engagement
    Module 5: Relevance to Today/Tomorrow

    Approximate time for completion of this course is 5 hours at an average reading rate of 144 words/minute.

    Engaging with this course

    • To register for this course, complete the registration form. Begin the course with Module 1. For each lesson, read the description. 
    • Each lesson comprises introductory remarks. You can click on the collections of resources in each module. 
    • There is a forum on each module for reflection, and you will be able to add a new topic or respond to a previous one. You may want to share your learning from this and other readings, comment on the topics from your own experience, comment on others' posts, or provide feedback on how we can improve the content and/or presentation.
    • There is a final quiz to assess your understanding of some important concepts. Click on the hyperlinks to take you to these items in each topic.


    Requirements to obtain the certificate 

    You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment. There are no requirements.

    To obtain a certificate, a learner must successfully complete:

    • All reading requirements
    • All discussion forums
    • The final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts and
    • The self and course evaluation forms

  • Module 1: Introduction to Medical Professionalism and Definitions

    Competence (Learning Outcome):

    Be able to discuss differing definitions of medical professionalism and the scope of the subject.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 2: Altruism and Commitment to Patients’ Interests.

    "As changing market forces continue to confront the medical profession, physicians are increasingly challenged to maintain an unwavering commitment to their patients." [IMAP Agenda].


    Competence (Learning Outcome) for this Module:


    Be able to identify and apply the key ways in which commitment to patients' interests may be maintained.


    The Module will cover the following areas:
    Adherence to ethical principles (honesty/integrity, confidentiality, moral reasoning, respect privileges and code of conduct)

    Effective interaction with patients and people important to those patients (respect for diversity/uniqueness, politeness/courtesy/patience, empathy/caring/compassion/rapport, manner/demeanor, include patients in decision making, maintain professional boundaries, balance availability to others with care for oneself)

    Effective interaction with other people working in the health system (teamwork, respect for diversity/uniqueness, politeness/courtesy/patience, manner/demeanor, maintain professional boundaries, balance availability to others with care for oneself)

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 3: Physician Self-Regulation and Maintenance of Competence

    "The pace of innovation in medicine is unprecedented. Absent a commitment to life-long learning, the knowledge base of the best-trained physician will soon be outmoded and fall short of best medical practice." [IMAP]

    "Group pressures not to report a colleague or indifference to the performance of others might lead doctors to ignore a colleague's ineptitude or malfeasance, compromising patient health and safety." [IMAP]

    Competence (Learning Outcome):

    Be able to critically appraise the key methods of self-regulation by the medical profession and review the methods by which technical and communication competence can be maintained.

    The Module will cover the following areas:

    Commitment to autonomous maintenance and continuous improvement of competence (Self, including but not restricted to: reflectiveness, personal awareness, self-assessment, seek and respond to feedback, respond to error, recognize limits, lifelong learning, deal with uncertainty; Others including but not restricted to: provide feedback/teaching, people management, leadership systems including but not restricted to: advocacy, seek and respond to results of an audit, advance knowledge)

    Effective interaction with other people working in the health system Including (teamwork, respect for diversity/uniqueness, politeness/courtesy/patience, manner/demeanor, maintain professional boundaries, balance availability to others with care for oneself)

    Reliability (accountability/complete tasks, punctuality, take responsibility, organized)

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 4: Civic Engagement

    "Physicians should enlarge the scope of their concerns from the well-being of the individual patient to a concern for the welfare of all patients. They must make their voices heard by communicating their knowledge to the public." [IMAP]  To which we add: "Listening and responding to what the public tells us."

    Competence (Learning Outcome):

    Be able to discuss the ways in which concerns for the welfare of all in the community can be added to concerns for individual patient care.

    The Module will cover:

    • Improving access to care
    • Just distribution of finite resources

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 5: Relevance to Today/Tomorrow

    How are medical practice and community expectations changing? Are we keeping pace with developments in communication technology?

    Competence (Learning Outcome):

    Be able to understand how doctors can keep pace with changes in practice and in the community around.

    The Module will cover:

    • The nature of modern professionalism
    • Reforming accountability
    • Implications of modern communication technology
    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Final Exam

  • Course and Self Evaluation & Certificate

    In this section, you can provide feedback about this course to help us make NextGenU.org better. Once evaluations are completed, you will be able to download your Certificate of Completion.
    Click here to give your feedback.
  • Quiz and Certificate

    If you access the resources in each Module and pass the quiz below, you will earn a Certificate of Completion.