Ethics and Professionalism

Ethics and Professionalism

Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9527-6.ch004


The purpose of this chapter is to explore one of the key factors for the deficiencies in the modern health care system: the supposed unprofessional behavior of doctors. This could take several forms ranging from clinical detachment at its mildest to criminal negligence at it severest. By studying the reasons for the lack of professionalism, one could devise ways to rectify the situation and make health care truly patient centered.
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Key Points

  • to understand what continuum of care means and how this is provided in a hospital

  • to study the process of residency training of doctors as fulfilling the purpose of both service and education

  • to appreciate the rigors of this system of residency training and their impact upon doctors

  • to explore how this system could be made to yield the best results

  • to understand the legal and ethical aspects of medical and health care practice

  • to study the importance of developing a culture of ethics and professionalism

  • to address the burning moral and practical issues of dealing with HIV and similar epidemics

  • to understand the nature and implications of medical negligence and malpractice litigation

  • to outline deficiencies in the optimum conduct of a medical professional



Doctors worldwide are among the most highly privileged members of society. In the USA, there are about a million employment opportunities for physicians and surgeons, extrapolating from the figures in 2012 of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projected a rapid growth rate in this sector in that particular year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d.). Doctors on an average get paid about 200,000 dollars in a year- the highest in the entire health care sector. They also spend easily more than a decade-sometimes two- in training to be exemplary professionals, but technical skills aside doctors are often found wanting in professionalism- that subtle quality of individual character that determines the quality of the entire health care services of a country or region.

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