The Physician charter on Medical professionalism; A Perspective from the Arab World
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AbstractProfessionalism is the basis of medicine’s contract with society. In 2002 the American board of Internal Medicine foundation, American College of Physicians-American society of Internal Medicine foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine listed three fundamental principles and 10 professional responsibilities that characterize professionalism in the Physician charter. The three fundamental principles described in the charter were; principle of patient welfare, principle of patient autonomy and principle of social justice. However, the application of such principles has its own challenges whether it is a Western culture or an Eastern culture with Religion playing a significant role on the definition of medical professionalism in the Arab and Muslim world compared to the western world. A better understanding of medical professionalism in all cultures and religions is of key importance. Being aware of this concept and applying it into practice will need proper training and adaptability. It is imperative that we respect the patients’ cultural and religious backgrounds when treating our patients. In the Muslim and Arab world we face challenges in practicing and teaching medical professionalism that will require establishing a medical professionalism physician charter that is unique to the Muslim and Arab world.