On Being a Doctor: Redefining medical professionalism for better patient care

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The compact between doctors, patients and the state that traditionally underpinned the working of the NHS is changing.

Today's doctors face unprecedented challenges resulting from new expectations of patients, the government and NHS managers.

This paper argues that if doctors are to meet these rising expectations, the profession needs to demonstrate its commitment to patients' interests, and must show a willingness to respond to new demands for transparency and accountability.

Drawing on discussions with stakeholders, the paper argues that the profession must collectively develop a renewed compact to clarify doctors' roles, strengthen morale and re-engage them with frontline service developments.