Professionalism: teaching and learning resources

Web resources

BMA: Medical Ethics Today

cover-medical-ethics-today-2011 tcm41-210998

Good Medical Practice, GMC (2013)

Medical Students: Professional Values and Fitness to Practice, GMC and Medical Schools Council (2009)

Personal Beliefs and Medical Practice, GMC (2008)

Medical Students: Professional Values in Action, GMC

Julia’s Day: case studies of ethical dilemmas, GMC (2011)

iEthiCS: virtual patient scenarios, St George’s University of London, especially the Jake Clarke and NCAS Scenario 1, 2, and 3 VPs:


Journal articles

Seale, C: The Role of Doctor’s Religious Faith and Ethnicity in Taking Ethically Controversial Decisions During End of Life Care, Journal of Medical Ethics 2010 (36) 677-682.



Hope, T et al 2008: chapter 5 ‘Doctors, Patients and Professions’ pp. 59-65 in Medical Ethics and Law: The Core Curriculum (2nd ed.), Edinburgh Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.  hope sav hend best

This chapter was published in Medical Ethics and Law: The Core Curriculum, (2nd edition), Hope T, Savulescu J and Hendrick J 'Doctors, Patients and Professions' pp. 59-65, Copyright Edinburgh Churchill Livingstone Elsevier 2008.

Cover image used by permission of Elsevier © 2008.  See the book page on the publisher's website here.

Tallis, R 2004: chapter 9 ‘The End of Medicine as a Profession?’ pp. 239-260 in Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and its Discontents, London: Atlantic Books.

Johnston, C, Bradbury, P 2008: Section 3: ‘Duties of a Doctor’ pp. 179-212 in 100 Cases in Clinical Ethics and Law, London: Hodder Arnold.

Professionalism: 'good medical practice' principles

Students should be able to demonstrate in practice:

  • an understanding of and respect for the role, responsibilities and requirements of the GMC and its primary concern to promote the health and safety of patients
  • an understanding of:
    • the importance of trust, integrity, honesty and good communication in all professional relationships
    • the need to accept personal responsibility and be aware of limitations of their practical skills or knowledge and to know how and where to seek appropriate help (including when abroad on electives)
    • the need to maintain professional boundaries with patients
    • issues raised by the religious beliefs of patients, students and other healthcare professionals and the role and limits of conscientious objection
    • the need to recognise and avoid all forms of unfair discrimination in relation to patients, colleagues and other healthcare professionals
    • areas of potential conflict of interest, eg, the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries.

Students should be able to:

  • respond appropriately to clinical errors
  • follow procedures for reporting adverse incidents
  • adhere to legal and ethical responsibilities that protect patients.