ABIM Foundation Announces Top Articles in Medical Professionalism

Three articles showcasing the role of medical professionalism in improving health care have been named the winners of the ABIM Foundation Professionalism Article Prize. These articles examine core issues highlighted in Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter.

More than 100 articles were reviewed for the Professionalism Article Prize and organized into three categories: Commentary/Perspective, Medical Education and Training, and Professionalism in Practice. The articles recognized this year are:

  • Commentary/Perspective: “The Role of Physicians in Controlling Medical Care Costs and Reducing Waste,” by Robert H. Brook, MD, ScD, published in JAMA.
  • Medical Education and Training: “Professionalism, the Invisible Hand, and a Necessary Reconfiguration of Medical Education,” by Frederic W. Hafferty, PhD, Michael Brennan, MD, and Wojciech Pawlina, MD, published in Academic Medicine.
  • Professionalism in Practice: “Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care,” by Thomas J. Smith, MD and Bruce E. Hillner, MD, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

To be considered, the articles needed to be published in English-language, peer-reviewed journals between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. A selection committee, made up of physicians, a medical student and other leaders in health care, reviewed the articles and judged them based on clarity of writing, thoroughness, methodology and contributions to the field and society.

Members of the selection committee included:

  • Barry Egener, MD, FAACP, FAACH, Medical Director, Foundation for Medical Excellence
  • Rosemary Gibson, author, The Treatment Trap
  • Hayley Goldbach, medical student, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Lorna Lynn, MD, Director, PIM Research, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Walter McDonald, MD, FACP, Emeritus Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine
  • David Stern, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Professionalism, Department of Medicine Mount Sinai Medical School
  • Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ABIM Foundation

“The Professionalism Article Prize winners highlight a growing recognition in the health care community of the changes needed in how medicine is taught and practiced so that we can deliver on our promise of access to affordable care for all patients,” said Christine K. Cassel, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. “The issues the authors advance underscore the need for physicians, patients and health care stakeholders to continue having important conversations about reducing wasteful practices with a goal of improving care for all.”

The Physician Charter, authored in 2002 in partnership with the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine, presents a modern definition of medical professionalism. The fundamental principles of medical professionalism include the primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice. ThePhysician Charter also articulates professional commitments of physicians and health care professionals: improving access to high quality health care, advocating for a just and cost-effective distribution of finite resources and maintaining trust by managing conflicts of interest.

Since the publication of the Physician Charter, the number of journal articles published per year focused on medical professionalism has increased nearly threefold. The Professionalism Article Prize, first awarded in 2011, recognizes this growing body of literature and the winning articles advance its key tenets – including the role of practicing physicians in identifying and reducing waste in the health care system; the need to reform medical education and training to prepare future generations of physicians to practice under increasing resource constraints; and attitudinal and behavioral changes needed by oncologists to reduce the devastating financial impact of a cancer diagnosis on individual patients and the system as a whole.

The Professionalism Article Prize continues the Foundation’s long history in advancing professionalism. Since its publication, the Physician Charter has gone on to be endorsed by more than 130 organizations and cited in nearly 1,500 articles and books. The Charter’s commitment to a just distribution of finite resources serves as a guiding principle for the Foundation’s recently launched Choosing Wisely® campaign, designed to help physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders think and talk about overuse of health care resources in the United States.

Winners of the Professionalism Article Prize will receive recognition on the ABIM Foundation’s website and social media pages and an invitation to write a guest post on The Medical Professionalism Blog.

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