Medical Professionalism Project

Kerry J Breen
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05079.x
Published online: 20 January 2003

To the Editor: Your enthusiastic comments accompanying the publication of a "physicians' charter" prepared by the Medical Professionalism Project1 do not acknowledge strikingly enhanced approaches to medical professionalism in Australia dating from the landmark Doherty Report in 1988.2 One of the most noticeable changes since that time is the emphasis now placed on professional development throughout medical school curricula3 and in the preregistration year.4,5 In addition, our medical colleges are poised to do more in this area in their postgraduate training and continuing professional development programs.6 You fail to point out that the "physicians' charter" contains nothing new, as an examination of the Code of Ethics of the Australian Medical Association will reveal.7


  • 1. Medical Professionalism Project. Medical professionalism in the new millennium: a physicians' charter. Med J Aust 2002; 177: 263-265. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Doherty RL (chairman). Committee of Inquiry into Medical Education and Medical Workforce. Australian medical education and workforce into the 21st century. Canberra: AGPS, 1988.
  • 3. Australian Medical Council. Guidelines for the assessment and accreditation of medical schools. Canberra: AMC, 1998.
  • 4. Australian Medical Council. National guidelines for intern training and assessment. Canberra: AMC, 1996.
  • 5. Association of Teachers of Ethics and Law in Australian and New Zealand Medical Schools (ATEAM). An ethics core curriculum for Australasian medical schools. Med J Aust 2001; 175: 205-210. <eMJA full text>
  • 6. Breen KJ. Professional development and ethics for today's and tomorrow's doctors. Med J Aust 2001; 175: 183-184. <eMJA full text>
  • 7. The Code of Ethics of the Australian Medical Association. Canberra: AMA, 1996.
  • 8. Breen KJ. The patient–doctor relationship in the new millennium: adjusting positively to commercialism and consumerism. Clin Dermatol 2001; 19: 19-22.


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