The Physician Charter

Dr. Johnson introduced us to the The Physician Charter. In 2002, the ABIM Foundation, American College of Physicians Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine jointly authored Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter, which was published simultaneously in Annals of Internal Medicine, The Lancet and the European Journal of Internal Medicine. The three pain principles of the physician charter are listed below:

Primacy of Patient Welfare

The principle is based on a dedication to serving the interest of the patient. Altruism contributes to the trust that is central to the physician-patient relationship. Market forces, societal pressures, and administrative exigencies must not compromise this principle.

Patient Autonomy

Physicians must have respect for patient autonomy. Physicians must be honest with their patients and empower them to make informed decisions about their treatment. Patients’ decisions about their care must be paramount, as long as those decisions are in keeping with ethical practice and do not lead to demands for inappropriate care.

Social Justice

The medical profession must promote justice in the health care system, including the fair distribution of health care resources. Physicians should work actively to eliminate discrimination in health care, whether based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, or any other social category.

What are your thoughts?  Do these statements embody your thoughts on professionalism? Are these attainable goals in today’s American healthcare system? Comment below to let us know what you think!