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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
Current Commentary

Professionalism: A Key to Weathering the Storm

Swick, Herbert M. MD

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The President's Program at the 2000 Annual Clinical Meeting of ACOG addressed the question of how best to maintain professional values in the current, market‐driven health care environment. The author's presentation during that presidential program provided the basis of this article. In today's corporate environment, the distinction between the practice of medicine and the business of medicine has become blurred. Too often, market values prevail over traditional professional values. As a consequence, physicians face increasing challenges and frustrations. To ease the discomfort of practicing in a new corporate age, physicians must maintain medical professionalism and hence reassert the primacy of professional values in caring for patients. Individually, physicians must exercise professionalism in their roles as educators and practitioners. Collectively, the profession of medicine must exercise professionalism by advocating patients' interests and by accepting accountability for both long‐established and emerging obligations that physicians have to their patients and to society.

© 2001 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


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