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Professionalism is one of the core dimensions of the WrightCurriculum (Dimension 5) and Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard 3.5. The BSOM learning environment is:

“…conducive to the ongoing development of explicit and appropriate behaviors in its medical students, faculty, and staff at all locations and is one in which all individuals are treated with respect. The medical school and its clinical affiliates share the responsibility for periodic evaluation of the learning environment to identify positive and negative influences on the maintenance of professional standards, develop and conduct appropriate strategies to enhance positive and mitigate negative influences and promptly correct violations of professional standards.” – LCME Standard 3.5

Students must meet or exceed all of the identified BSOM milestones related to professionalism (Dimension 5) in each module, clerkship, or rotation to pass the module, clerkship, or rotation. Students may fail a module, clerkship, or rotation for professionalism violations regardless of their academic and/or clinical performance.

Using a professionalism rubric and professionalism Accolades and Concerns reports [Accolades and Concerns Portal], we will monitor our learning environment to enhance positive and mitigate negative influences on professionalism and correct professionalism violations.

Professionalism Attributes

At Boonshoft School of Medicine, we understand that physicians and medical professionals must have many attributes to value and behave in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards of the profession. These attributes include, but are not limited to: honesty, respect, integrity, responsibility, adherence to ethical standards, reliability, accountability, punctuality, maintenance of confidentiality, clear communication, compassion, attitude, teamwork, sound judgment, appropriate professional relationships, respectful language, maturity, self-care, humility, initiative, social responsibility, altruism, professional appearance, promotion of diversity, and self-confidence.

For assessment purposes at BSOM, we will focus on the professional attributes of:

  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Punctuality
  • Compassion
  • Clear and respectful communication
  • Maintenance of confidentiality
  • Maturity
  • Appropriate professional relationships
  • Professional appearance
  • Self-confidence


Respect for patients requires that physicians and students honor patient autonomy, appreciate cultural backgrounds, norms and lifestyles, protect patient privacy, maintain confidentiality, and avoid sexual misconduct. Mutual respect between medical colleagues and all co-workers promotes optimal patient care and establishes a positive learning environment. Considering the time of others, dressing in a manner that respects cultural sensitivities and using respectful tone and communication are especially important in a stressful, medical environment where a differential of power can lead to inadvertent transgressions.


All medical professionals (physicians, students, medical colleagues, co-workers) must be honest in actions and not lie, cheat, steal, or plagiarize. Dishonesty puts patients and students at risk.


Responsibility toward self, patients, society and coworkers is key for the safety of patients and growth of learners. It requires insight into one’s own behavior and a willingness to admit errors and be accountable for one’s own actions.


The knowledge, time and talent of all members of the medical community are valued. For this reason, tardiness, lack of preparation, avoiding work, and missing deadlines has a negative impact on both patients and colleagues.


Compassion for others leads health professionals to choose medicine as a profession. Compassion can be demonstrated by being aware of your impact on others, developing the ability to empathize effectively with others and communicate in a way that shows caring and concern.

Clear and Respectful Communication

It is important for all medical professionals and faculty to use clear and respectful oral, written, and non-verbal communication skills to communicate with others. Care must be taken to communicate with patients in a culturally respectful way at a level that ensures all parties understand the diagnosis, treatment, and other medically relevant information.

Maintenance of Confidentiality

Maintenance of confidentiality is a legal and ethical responsibility. Medical professionals and faculty are privy to confidential information about patients and students. Federal laws and regulations exist to protect patient and student privacy and those who have access to confidential information must act in accordance with these guidelines.


Developing the maturity to make sound decisions, recognize gaps in knowledge, have a desire to improve one’s self, and accept and incorporate appropriate feedback is necessary to achieve personal growth. Intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm for life-long learning, and desire to master necessary skills and knowledge are qualities important for a physician.

Appropriate Professional Relationships

Managing appropriate professional relationships as well as maintaining appropriate boundaries are attributes necessary in all medical professionals and faculty, but are especially important in the doctor/patient relationship and any other relationship in which a differential of power exists. Patients entrust doctors with confidential and sensitive information and appropriate professional boundaries must be maintained.

Professional Appearance

Professional dress requires attention to cleanliness and grooming. Provocative, inappropriate, sloppy or unkempt dress sends the wrong message to patients, faculty, and other medical professionals, and can contribute to an inability to develop a necessary relationship.


Self-confidence is being appropriately assured of one’s abilities, recognizing one’s own limitations and asking for help when necessary. Students will gain self-confidence through active participation in teaching and learning activities as well as through clinical experiences.


Policy Approved by FCC on June 28, 2017
Revised and approved by FCC on July 2, 2018

Last edited on 07/12/2018.