Professionalism in Medicine

Critical Perspectives

  • Delese Wear
  • Julie M. Aultman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Conceptualizing Professionalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Brian Castellani, Frederic W. Hafferty
      Pages 3-23
    3. Jamie L. Shirley, Stephen M. Padgett
      Pages 25-41
    4. David J. Doukas
      Pages 43-59
  3. Teaching Professionalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Daniel George, Iahn Gonsenhauser, Peter Whitehouse
      Pages 63-86
    3. Delese Wear
      Pages 87-101
    4. Jack Coulehan
      Pages 103-127
    5. Julie M. Aultman
      Pages 129-147
  4. Assessing Professionalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Thomas S. Inui, Ann H. Cottingham, Richard M. Frankel, Debra K. Litzelman, David L. Mossbarger, Anthony L. Suchman et al.
      Pages 165-184
    3. Mark Kuczewski
      Pages 185-198
    4. Cynthia A. Brincat
      Pages 199-210
    5. Audiey Kao, Jennifer Reenan
      Pages 211-232
  5. CODA

    1. David C. Leach
      Pages 255-259
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-275

About this book


"Professionalism in Medicine: Critical Perspectives" is a brilliant collection of essays that responds to platitudinous notions of medical professionalism with theoretical clarity and curricular innovation. Drawing upon a wonderful wealth of scholars in the medical humanities, this inspirational volume seeks to transcend reductionistic conceptions of professionalism that are too easily mistaken for the real thing, simply because they are amenable to measurement. This incisive anthology will be savored by all who want to bring qualitative balance to a ‘professionalism movement’ that has often conflated quantitative assessment with cogent analysis."

Joseph J. Fins, M.D., F.A.C.P., Chief, Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Author, "A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life's End."


"This book makes a welcome and important contribution to the ongoing dialogue and debate about professionalism in medicine. The contributors, all distinguished authorities and experienced medical educators, challenge current constructs and suggest new approaches to understanding, teaching and evaluating professionalism. The provocative ideas presented range from the theoretical to the pragmatic. Professionalism in Medicine will engage the interest of medical educators and practicing physicians, sociologists and philosophers."
Herbert M. Swick, M.D., Executive Director, Institute of Medicine and Humanities

Professionalism has become a part of the contemporary academic medicine parlance, with the stakeholders focus on what has become a consistent list of attributes deemed to be the essence of professionalism: variations on altruism, duty, excellence, honor and integrity, accountability, and respect.

This collection of essays steps outside this focus. Its contributors ask different questions, including how the specialized language of academic medicine and its affiliated governing and accrediting institutions define, organize, and contain the attitudes, values, and behaviors subsumed under the label "professional" or "professionalism." Each essay questions the profession’s beliefs about the nature of its work and how such beliefs are enacted (or not) in medical education and practice.

Anyone involved in decision-making in the undergraduate medical curriculum will find this book thoughtful, at times provocative, and in the end, useful.


education ethics hospital internal medicine medicine morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Delese Wear
    • 1
  • Julie M. Aultman
    • 1
  1. 1.Northeastern Ohio Universities College of MedicineUSA

Bibliographic information