This page briefly outlines what is meant by professionalism and provides links to further information.
Medical school should not only teach you about the science of medicine, it should also prepare you to become a professional doctor.
Professionalism is how a doctor should look and behave even when faced with challenges, such as insufficient time with patients. It’s all about treating others how you would like to be treated.
During your training you will be assessed on various aspects of professionalism, such as your bedside manner.
The GMC also publishes guidance on professional values and fitness to practise for medical students. You will be required to adhere to the following principles of professional behaviour:
- provide good clinical care
- maintain good medical practice (eg keep your knowledge and skills up to date)
- be willing to get involved in teaching and training, appraising and assessing others
- build good relationships with patients (this includes respecting confidentiality)
- maintain good working relationships with colleagues
- be honest and trustworthy, and act with integrity
- be aware of your own health and seek and follow advice if you have, or think you may have, a condition that could be passed on to patients, or if a condition could affect your judgement or performance
Medical students and doctors face many ethical dilemmas. You can download various guidance documents on ethics from the British Medical Association (BMA) website. For example, Using social media: practical and ethical guidance for doctors and medical students explains the need to be aware of the potential risks in posting personal materials on the internet or communicating with patients via social media.