McGraw-Hill Education and the ABIM Foundation announce the publication of the definitive guide to teaching and practicing professionalism in medicine

New book “Understanding Medical Professionalism” authored by internationally-recognized experts Wendy S. Levinson, MD; Shiphra Ginsburg, MD; Frederic W. Hafferty, PhD; and
Catherine R. Lucey, MD

”Understanding Medical Professionalism is a ‘must-have’ for all involved in the healing arts. The book demystifies professionalism, bringing it from a philosophical, mystical concept to a practical, everyday set of behaviors.”  – Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI (Hon.)

PHILADELPHIA—Published by McGraw-Hill Medical in partnership with the ABIM Foundation,Understanding Medical Professionalism is a groundbreaking new book that teaches health care students and clinicians how to deliver the highest quality patient care through professionalism in medical practice. Part of the acclaimed Understanding series, Understanding Medical Professionalism includes real-life case scenarios that illustrate the pitfalls and challenges faced by practitioners, offers actionable guidance on how to successfully address those challenges and helps develop the behavioral skills necessary to provide outstanding patient care.

Understanding Medical is built around four key premises:

  1. Medical professionalism can be thought of as a set of specific skills and behaviors that can be clearly demonstrated
  2. Challenges to medical professionalism in the clinical or educational setting are not rare events, but are everyday occurrences that can be identified and managed
  3. Medical professionalism is a systems issue, relevant to all caregivers and administrators in the health care team
  4. Professionalism should be a lifelong pursuit and not thought of as a static topic for a brief training period or course – professionalism is a competency developed over time

The roots of Understanding Professionalism can be found in Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter. Published in 2002 by the ABIM Foundation, ACP Foundation and European Federation of Internal Medicine, the Physician Charter defines the ethical commitments and responsibilities of physicians practicing in the 21st century.

More than a decade later, the impact of the Physician Charter in advancing medical professionalism and addressing challenges facing today’s physicians is far-reaching:

  • More than 100,000 copies have been distributed in 12 languages;
  • 130 organizations across the world have endorsed the Physician Charter; and,
  • the number of journal articles on medical professionalism has increased threefold to nearly 300 annually.

“The fundamental principles of the Physician Charter—the primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice—present an ethical roadmap for physicians practicing in increasingly complex and demanding environments,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “With the publication of Understanding Medical Professionalism, future generations of physicians will have a practical guide for how they can embody the ideals of the Physician Charterand put medical professionalism into practice.”

Understanding Medical Professionalism is concise and clinical, with specific examples and actionable guidance suitable for learners, instructors and clinicians at all levels. We are fortunate to partner in this important endeavor with the ABIM Foundation, which has been an outstanding leader in professionalism in health care,” said James F. Shanahan, Associate Publisher of McGraw-Hill Medical. “As the publisher of landmark medical texts such as Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine and CURRENT Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, we are delighted to partner with the ABIM Foundation and four internationally recognized authors in the creation this timely and much-needed book. It is truly essential reading for medical students, residents in all specialties, faculty members, practicing physicians, health care administrators and health care leaders.”

McGraw-Hill Professional is a leading global provider of content and services for the science, technical and medical communities. It is home to the Access line of fourteen educational and clinical digital platforms, including AccessMedicine, the world’s leading and most-trusted online medical resource. McGraw-Hill Professional is the publisher of landmark references including Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine and Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, the world’s number one selling annual medical book. For more information, visit

The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice.

Understanding Medical Professionalism (978-0-07-180743-2) published by McGraw-Hill Professional; Paperback; $45.00; available May 2014.

For further information, contact Deborah Cruz, Senior Marketing Manager, McGraw-Hill Medical,


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