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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 306-307

Medical professionalism in India: Present and future

1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Medical Research Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shrivastava RamBihariLal Saurabh
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_30_18

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How to cite this article:
Saurabh SR, Prateek SS. Medical professionalism in India: Present and future. Int J Acad Med 2018;4:306-7

How to cite this URL:
Saurabh SR, Prateek SS. Medical professionalism in India: Present and future. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Sep 28];4:306-7. Available from: https://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2018/4/3/306/248328

To the Editor,

Professionalism is an umbrella concept that compasses various aspects of any profession.[1],[2] On the similar lines, even the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists, and other national educational bodies have also identified professionalism as a core competency for their medical graduates.[1],[3],[4] In doctors' profession, high standards of behavior are expected, especially pertaining to the ability to communicate effectively with patients, family members, and colleagues; acting in a professional manner and being aware of the sociocultural diversities, values, and prejudices; and providing care after understanding those values and various dimensions of a patient's life.[1],[3],[4],[5]

In the field of medicine or medical education, it has been identified as one of the core competencies, which an Indian medical graduate should possess to be globally relevant.[2] In the Indian context, for time immemorial, doctors have been regarded as “professionals” both by the public and by their peers, and thus, they were regarded as the most trusted profession among the general public. However, gradually, the scenario has changed big time and no more doctors are looked upon as the healers.

This major change in the opinion of society is because the doctor community has failed to sustain the standard which was set by our earlier professionals.[6] The doctors have become unprofessional, and it is not an uncommon practice that one doctor does not trust another doctor's decision and has indulged in criticizing each other in front of patients, which has led to lack of trust among people toward the overall doctor community.[4],[6] The result is for everyone to see, especially in terms of increase in the incidence of assault against doctors and hospital properties, each one of us is looked upon as a money-minded person, and it is a pity to admit that each and every action of us (viz., treatment approach, basic investigations), even if genuine, raises eyebrows.[4],[5],[6]

Further, we are being publicly criticized for our cut-practice by many stakeholders and that has affected our reputation big time, and as a matter of fact, many sections of society have resorted to traditional healers instead of seeking the help of the modern medicine specialists.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Moreover, the doctor community has lost the respect even from our team members (nurses, paramedical staff, etc.), predominantly due to the unethical practices adopted by some of the doctors.[4] All the above consequences are just the tip of the iceberg, and there is an immense need to resurrect the image of doctors in the eyes of the general population.[4],[5],[6]

The first and foremost thing is to adopt a mechanism to teach/orient medical undergraduates about ethics and being professional throughout their education so that they are able to evaluate the ethical issues related to a problem in the discipline and able to demonstrate professional behavior in the academic environment as well as their workplace settings.[1],[6] To be a professional and to meet the desired standards, a medical student/practitioner should show continuous commitment to excellence and aim to become a lifelong learner and give due respect to peers, patients, nurses, and other healthcare workers.[4],[6]

The doctors have to be professionally competent (adequate knowledge and skills in their specialty) and must be able to identify the conflicts of interest and manage the situation effectively.[4],[6] Moreover, they should be accountable for their own work and for the department, able to work as a member in a healthcare team, demonstrate proper time management, and be empathetic and trustworthy.[6] In addition, they should accept the critical remarks from the fellow physicians and patients and act upon their remarks to improve themselves.[1],[6]

To conclude, being professional is one of the indispensable attributes of a medical graduate, and it is high time we should take efforts to ensure that unprofessional behavior of doctors is reduced to rebuild the trust between patients and doctors.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Jahan F, Siddiqui MA, Al Zadjali NM, Qasim R. Recognition of core elements of medical professionalism among medical students and faculty members. Oman Med J 2016;31:196-204.  Back to cited text no. 1
Medical Council of India. Vision – 2015; 2011. Available from: https://www.old.mciindia.org/tools/announcement/MCI_booklet.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Jul 15].  Back to cited text no. 2
Garg M, Peck GL, Arquilla B, Miller AC, Soghoian SE, Anderson HL, et al. A comprehensive framework for international medical programs: A 2017 consensus statement from the American College of Academic International Medicine. Int J Acad Med 2017;3:217-30.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
Yoo C. The challenges of medical education in developing “true medical professionalism”. Korean J Med Educ 2017;29:283-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Uchino R, Yanagawa F, Weigand B, Orlando JP, Tachovsky TJ, Dave KA, et al. Focus on emotional intelligence in medical education: From problem awareness to system-based solutions. Int J Acad Med 2015;1:9-20.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
Dunn M. On the relationship between medical ethics and medical professionalism. J Med Ethics 2016;42:625-6.  Back to cited text no. 6


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