Viewpoint: Infusing Professionalism into a School of Medicine: Perspectives from the Dean

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Abstract

In 2000, leaders at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) consciously set out to incorporate professionalism into the culture of the school. The dean of IUSM offers his personal perspective of the state of professionalism at his institution before the culture change, explaining the inspiration for the leadership’s efforts toward pursuing a culture of professionalism. The author describes specific actions taken at IUSM to foster professionalism, including crafting a Core Values and Guiding Principles document that explicitly stated the institution’s ideals and that was circulated to and eventually approved in 2001 by every member of the IUSM faculty, graduate trainees, and student body; explicitly incorporating professionalism into faculty recruiting and student admissions processes; integrating professionalism into the IUSM curriculum; and employing a Relationship-Centered Care Initiative, which encourages members of the IUSM community to acknowledge and reflect on their personal experiences as caregivers, to cultivate an appreciation for what is best about medicine. To underscore the importance of the culture change, IUSM leadership have been involved in every step of the process and have committed to rewarding professional behavior among faculty members. The author encourages other institutions to strive for similar culture change to promote professionalism across medicine.

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