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J Korean Med Assoc. 2011 Nov;54(11):1124-1136. English. Original Article.
Choi B .
Division of Humanities & Social Sciences of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Modern day medical professionalism has been advocated by multiple professional organizations and individual scholars. Most of the statements publicly issued emphasize particular moral traditions and the highest professional standards along with doctors' social role to recover society's trust, which have proved ineffective in bringing any change. Based on the perspective that medical professionalism is a norm of practice, acknowledged and shared by the majority of current ordinary doctors, the author traced the emergence of modern professionalism to challenge the legitimacy of those virtue-based arguments within a historical context. With the increasing complexities of both society and the health care system, new types of health clinics have been practiced especially by young generation doctors. As these are explored, several factors related with those stated professionalism that are creating conflicts are discussed. It is criticized that those statements demand individual doctors to adhere to the ideal professionalism regardless of any circumstances, so that it excludes any discussion about professionalism from the broader social contextual background. Given that professionalism is a context-dependent concept, it is stressed that modern day medical professionalism is required to evolve along with societal change. As medicine is recognized as a system in which numerous societal areas are involved, medical professionalism is expected to be rewritten into a consensus-based, more realistic and explicit compact.

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