The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine adopted the professional attributes from the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Project Professionalism. The attributes expected of a student are explained here:
- Altruism is the essence of professionalism. The best interest of patients, not self-interest, is the rule.
- Accountability is required at many levels — individual patients, society and the profession. Physicians are accountable to their patients for fulfilling the implied contract governing the patient/physician relationship. They are also accountable to society for addressing the health needs of the public and to their profession for adhering to medicine’s time-honored ethical precepts.
- Excellence entails a conscientious effort to exceed ordinary expectations and to make a commitment to life-long learning. Commitment to excellence is an acknowledged goal for all physicians.
- Duty is the free acceptance of a commitment to service. This commitment entails being available and responsive when “on call,” accepting inconvenience to meet the needs of one’s patients, enduring unavoidable risks to oneself when a patient’s welfare is at stake, advocating the best possible care regardless of ability to pay, seeking active roles in professional organizations, and volunteering one’s skills and expertise for the welfare of the community.
- Honor and integrity are the consistent regard for the highest standards of behavior and the refusal to violate one’s personal and professional codes. Honor and integrity imply being fair, being truthful, keeping one’s word, meeting commitments, and being straightforward. They also require recognition of the possibility of conflict of interest and avoidance of relationships that allow personal gain to supersede the best interest of the patient.
Respect for others (patients and their families, other physicians and professional colleagues such as nurses, medical students, residents, and subspecialty fellows) is the essence of humanism, and humanism is both central to professionalism, and fundamental to enhancing collegiality among physicians.
Report Professionalism Concerns
We encourage members of the UTRGV community to voice concerns about professionalism in students, faculty or staff. The following forms are available for confidential use and may be submitted anonymously if preferred:
Medical Students: Report Professionalism Concerns About Others
Faculty/Staff: Report Professionalism Concerns About Faculty, Staff, or Students
Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges