Teaching professionalism across cultural and national borders: Lessons learned from an AMEE workshop
Background: At the 2009 AMEE meeting in Malaga, Spain, a workshop was held entitled ?Medicine's Social Contract with Society ? An International Perspective.? Aims: One of the objectives of this workshop was to explore the international differences in medicine's social contract with society, which is linked to the nature of professionalism. Methods: Nineteen individuals from 11 countries participated. They were asked to compare the expectations of the patients and the general public as well as those of the medical profession with those outlined in a recent publication addressing the issue from a North American perspective. Results: The results indicated that the role of the healer appears to be universal, with only minor differences being found in different cultures and countries. However, there were differences noted in the role of the professional, which of course must reflect national differences in the social contract in health care. Conclusion: These differences must be respected by those teaching professionalism.