Academic Medicine

Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2007 - Volume 82 - Issue 11 > The Journey to Creating a Campus-Wide Culture of Professiona...
Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318157633e
Professionalism

The Journey to Creating a Campus-Wide Culture of Professionalism

Smith, Kirk L. MD, PhD; Saavedra, Rebecca EdD; Raeke, Jennifer L.; O’Donell, Alice Anne MD

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Abstract

In 2002, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation launched the Professionalism Charter Project (Putting the Charter into Practice), an effort to more broadly disseminate an international physician charter on professionalism developed in collaboration with the American College of Physicians (ACP) Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine. The Professionalism Charter Project awarded grants to five academic health centers (AHCs) in support of campus initiatives aimed at implementing the charter’s commitments to patient welfare, autonomy, and social justice. One of those centers, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), was already deeply involved in a professionalism initiative under the leadership of university president Dr. John Stobo, who had led ABIM’s Project Professionalism some years earlier. The authors describe the influence of that initiative on UTMB’s professionalism journey, from Stobo’s appointment in 1997 to the latest actions undertaken to extend the charter campus-wide, binding all members of the university community to its principles and commitments. They reiterate challenges to professionalism well known to readers of this journal (e.g., the insidious influence of the hidden curriculum) and detail programs undertaken to address those challenges, stressing UTMB’s campus-wide approach to interdisciplinary collaboration. Assessment of, and accountability for, professional behavior are key features of UTMB’s approach, and particular attention is given to the decisions, circumstances, and programs involved in making the charter relevant, not only to physicians, but to each member of the AHC community. Finally, the authors offer a list of lessons learned along the way.

© 2007 Association of American Medical Colleges

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