Exploring the ACGME Core Competencies: Professionalism (Part 7 of 7)

NEJM Knowledge + Team
Submitted: January, 2017

In this article, the authors discuss the details of Professionalism as defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education(ACGME) in their 1999 report on the 6 core competencies for practicing resident physicians. They define Professionalism as a standard that speaks directly to the attitude and behavior of the resident physician. The expectation for all medical professionals is that each and every one will treat all people with respect, compassion, and dignity. Patient needs will supersede a resident’s self-interest. And residents accept and understand that they are accountable to not only the patient but also to their colleagues and society as a whole. Lastly, the Professionalism competency holds fast to the principle of treating all the diverse patient populations with sensitivity and respect. In order to evaluate a resident’s professionalism, three subcompetencies are defined: demonstrating professional conduct and accountability, demonstrating humanism and cultural proficiency, maintaining emotional, physical, and mental health, and pursuing continual personal and professional growth.