PHILADELPHIA -- Three influential organizations of internal medicine physicians have unveiled a new charter on medical professionalism. The charter, consisting of three fundamental principles and 10 definitive professional responsibilities, is published in the February 5, 2002, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and February 9 issue of The Lancet.
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), and the European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM) say that the volatile health care environment -- hit by the explosion of technology, changing market forces, problems in health care delivery, and globalization -- is affecting the practice of medicine. The organizations ask all physicians to reaffirm their professional commitments to their patients and the public.
The three principles underpinning the practice of medicine, the organizations say, are the primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice. From these principles stem a list of ten responsibilities that are both individual and collective obligations for physicians.
According to the charter, physician obligations include commitment to:
The charter was written by members of the Medical Professionalism Project sponsored by the ABIM Foundation, the ACP-ASIM Foundation and the EFIM. Members of the projects working committee met for several years to refine the charter.
Contact: Susan Anderson
American College of Physicians