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May 12, 2015

Medical Professionalism

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Dr DeAngelis is Editor in Chief Emerita, JAMA
JAMA. 2015;313(18):1837-1838. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3597

Medical professionalism as a concept can be traced back at least to around 400 bc with the Hippocratic Oath. The words of that oath (or a similar oath) are taken by virtually every physician at graduation from medical school, and the modern concepts included vary greatly from the original, somewhat quaint edicts.1 However quaint the original oath, it is arguably the earliest description of expected physician behavior, at least at that time. Currently, most individuals associate the Hippocratic Oath with the basics of medical professionalism.

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