oa South African Family Practice - The views of medical students on professionalism in South Africa : original research

Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



An article on medical professionalism was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February 2002 outlining a charter, and the fifth-year medical students of the Medical School of the University of Pretoria were asked to comment on the charter. The question was asked whether the principles and responsibilities as set out in the charter could also be applied to the South African context. <br>The responses of the students could be divided into three groups with overlapping themes: 15, 64% of the students felt that the charter was not at all applicable to our country because of its diverse cultures and languages and the variety of social classes and religions; 24, 02% of the students felt that the charter was a universally acceptable document; and 60, 34% of the students felt that, to a great extent, the charter was the ideal and the goal to strive for, although they only accepted some of the principles and responsibilities while having serious doubts and criticism of others. <br>In conclusion, the majority of the medical students felt that the charter was noteworthy and commendable in principle, but not totally applicable in our country with its unique problems and challenges. Our challenge is to take what resources we have and use it to the benefit of all.

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