, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1-3
Date: 15 Feb 2011

Issues in (inter)professionalism

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The Reflections article addresses two related, and frequently confused, terms—professionalism and interprofessionalism. Not in so many words: the article focuses on the slightly narrower issue of whether ethics should be taught and learned in interprofessional settings. The authors conclude that, while learning about other professions is better accomplished in interprofessional courses (a fairly self-evident truth), the specific learning of ethics related to patient care may be better accomplished within specific disciplines.

Such a conclusion might be viewed as heretical by some. Interprofessional education is usually viewed as a “good thing” and ethics would appear to be an ideal area for interprofessional learning, since the issues and concepts of ethics would appear to transcend disciplinary boundaries. As Caldicott and Braun say:

There is much to gain by encouraging mutual respect across professions in the resolution of moral dilemmas. In a joint ethics class, an imaging student and ...