ExpiresMarch 5, 2025
The Medical Professionalism Project is an innovative course that explores the complex expectations, challenges, and responsibilities of being a healthcare professional. While often we like to divide people and their choices into “good” and “bad,” the truth is that in most ethical decision-making, right and wrong can be very complex. This is especially true for medical providers who regularly face challenging decisions that have the potential to greatly impact the lives of their patients. Through this 12-episode program we invite providers to explore topics related to medical professionalism, medical ethics, and integrity, and delve into the social science of our decision-making habits. Utilizing the research of behavioral economist and best-selling author Dan Ariely, we examine what it means to work with integrity in today’s practice environment, and how to think about making the best decisions when the right answer is not readily apparent. We hope after this course diplomates will have a better understanding of what professionalism, a core competency of all medical professions, truly means in the complex world of modern medicine.
Below is a brief description of each module:
1. Introduction – An introduction to the goals of the project and the behavioral science that informs the course.
2. Social Norms – Explores how medical team interactions can affect patient outcomes.
3. Distance From Money – How recent advancements, including electronic health records and billing systems, have increased the distance between healthcare providers and the economic consequences of their decision-making.
4. Testing and Treatment – Patients are asking for more, providers can do more, but when is it too much?
5. Burnout – Exploring the rising burnout rate and strategies for addressing this critical issue.
6. Disclosing Mistakes – The pressure providers feel to be infallible is as real as it is unattainable — but honesty about errors is meaningful for all involved.
7. Conflicts of Interest – Even when cautious and transparent about potential conflicts, research shows they can still influence our decisions.
8. Research – Medical research, in particular human clinical trials, are challenging and risky endeavors. In this module, a high-profile case reveals the complications and perils of this work.
9. Inequities in Healthcare – Quality of care varies greatly across economic, gender, racial, and ethnic lines (among others). This module explores how providers can bring more attention to these issues in their own practices.
10. Communication – Communication is a critical part of patient care, but it has been historically undervalued in medical training, leaving providers less equipped to handle difficult conversations.
11. Shared Decision-Making – Shared decision-making has yet to be widely implemented or championed in medicine. We explore the hurdles and drawbacks to this framework, while highlighting the importance in engaging patients in their medical decisions.
12. Maintaining Professionalism – In this final module, we review strategies for sustaining professional behavior long-term.
ABMS Member Board Approvals by Type
ABMS MOC Part II CME Activity
Allergy and Immunology
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Psychiatry and Neurology
NOTE: If a Member Board has not deemed this activity for MOC approval as an accredited CME activity, this activity may count toward an ABMS Member Board’s general CME requirement. Please refer directly to your Member Board’s MOC Part II Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program Requirements.
1. Participate in a dialogue about what constitutes medical professionalism.
2. Recognize factors that influence professional behavior.
3. Recognize unprofessional behaviors in themselves and in others.
4. Access tools that aid in maintaining and improving professional behaviors.
Professionalism, Ethics, Communication, Burnout, Culture
Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-based Learning & Improvement, Professionalism, Systems-based Practice
CME Credit Type
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Academic Medicine, Inpatient, Outpatient, Physician Executives, Physician Scientists, Rural, Urban, VA/Military