Background: There has been substantial interest and emphasis on medical professionalism over the past twenty years. This speaks to the history of the medical profession, but increasingly to a broader understanding of the importance of socialisation and professional identity formation. Method: A literature review was undertaken of professionalism and the role of professions and medical professional organisations. Results: A key outcome has been the recognition that medical professionalism must be actively taught and assessed. Substantial effort is required to improve the educational environment, so that it nurtures the development of professionalism within the work-place.Although medical colleges have been prominent in identifying and progressing the recent developments within professionalism there is still much to be done to deliver fully on the societal contract between the public and the profession.There are key gaps to address, particularly with regards to self-regulation, civil behaviour and effective leadership and advocacy. Conclusion: Medical colleges need to take direct responsibility for the professionalism of their members. The expectations of the community are increasingly clear in this regard.
- medical colleges
- professional identity