Commitments as a Medical Student

"To have striven, to have made an effort, to have been true to certain ideals – this alone is worth the struggle."  [Osler (7)]

Students have an obligation, as future physicians, to maintain the values of professionalism throughout medical training and into one’s career. Professional behaviour is not only expected of students in the clinical setting, but is also required in the classroom, lunchroom, seminar room, library, etc. Expectations at the level of undergraduate medical education are outlined below:

  • Respect for professors, preceptors, and peers
  • Respect for guest speakers and visiting patients
  • Respect for cadavers and anatomical specimens in the anatomy lab
  • Respect for the institution of which you are a part
  • Respect for patients and their families at clinical encounters
  • Respect for patient confidentiality
  • Respect for all members of the health care team
  • Respect for administrative and support staff
  • Respect for the core values of professionalism
    • Honesty and integrity
    • Altruism
    • Respect
    • Responsibility and accountability
    • Compassion and empathy
    • Dedication and self-improvement

As noted by Sir William Osler, it takes time, effort, and dedication to live according to an ideal: this is perhaps the single most important obligation medical students have to both society and to the profession.

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Last updated: 2015.09.08