Professionalism is more than a lofty ideal; it encompasses who doctors are, how they work and what they value. (1)


Trust is the foundation of the doctor-patient partnership. Patients should be able to trust that their doctor will behave professionally towards them during consultations and not see them as a potential sexual partner. (2)


The GMC, in its guidance Good Medical Practice, describes professionalism in action (3) and the GMC has collaborated with The Point of Care Foundation to develop the way that professionalism is taught to medical students. (4)

All organisations can do more to recognise the intense pressures on the profession and make it more acceptable for people to ask for help when they are struggling.

Do you think that this now happening? (5,6)


The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism – in the provision of high quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience; in the people it employs, and in the support, education, training and development they receive; in the leadership and management of its organisations; and through its commitment to innovation and to the promotion, conduct and use of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population. (7)


Watch the video to hear about the views and experiences of some senior medical educators:



1. Advancing medical professionalism, Royal College of Physicians report:  https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/advancing-medical-professionalism

2. General Medical Council Ethical Guidance, Maintaining a professional boundary between you and your patient: https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/maintaining-a-professional-boundary-between-you-and-your-patient/maintaining-a-professional-boundary-between-you-and-your-patient#paragraph-3

3. https://www.gmc-uk.org/ethical-guidance/ethical-guidance-for-doctors/good-medical-practice/professionalism-in-action

4. https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/guidance/achieving-good-medical-practice/professionalism-in-teaching

5. Medical professionalism matters, GMC report and recommendations, 2017 https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/mpm-report_pdf-68646225.pdf

6. https://www.gmc-uk.org/news/news-archive/doctors-to-receive-training-support-to-call-out-unprofessionalism

7. Principles that guide the NHS, NHS Constitution for England, 2015: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480482/NHS_Constitution_WEB.pdf