Professionalism is the basis of medicine's contract with society. It demands placing the interests of patients above those of the physician, setting and maintaining standards of competence and integrity, and providing expert advice to society on matters of health. The principles and responsibilites of medical professionalism must be clearly understood by both the profession and society. Essential to this contract is public trust in physicians, which depends on the integritiy of both indiviudal physicians and the whole profession.
"Every spring for almost 20 years, I have happily donned a rented robe, hood, and mortarboard to attend medical school commencement exercises. The purpose of this annual foray into pomp and circumstance goes well beyond applauding the achievements of graduates who are about to enter the medical profession. For me, commencement is the perfect opportunity to renew my vows, as it were, standing shoulder to shoulder with both newly minted doctors and like-minded colleagues as we take the Hippocratic Oath." ...by Howard Markel
"Das Leben ist kurz, die Kunst weit, der günstige Augenblick flüchtig, der Versuch trügerisch, die Entscheidung schwierig. Der Arzt muß nicht nur bereit sein, selber seine Pflicht zu tun, er muß sich auch die Mitwirkung des Kranken, der Gehilfen und der Umstände sichern." ...und weitere Aphorismen von Hippokrates.