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May 12, 2015

Aiming Higher to Enhance Professionalism: Beyond Accreditation and Certification

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;313(18):1795-1796. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3818

Professions have special privileges in the United States. There are intangible benefits such as prestige, but more importantly, professions have the dearly prized privilege of autonomy. With this privilege comes the expectation that a profession will establish codes of conduct and promote high standards of quality among its members. From the standpoint of creating codes of conduct, the medical profession has been a role model. In 1847, the newly formed American Medical Association met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the first national professional medical organization in the world. At that meeting, its members adopted the world's first national code of professional medical ethics and established standards for education, training, and conduct.1