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Editorial |

The Purpose and Limits to Professional Self-regulation

Cyril Chantler, MD, FRCP, FRCPCH, FMedSci; Rebecca Ashton, MSc
JAMA. 2009;302(18):2032-2033. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1644.
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Trust me, I’m a doctor.” In the United States and United Kingdom, a recent survey reports, more than 80% of the public does.1 According to the Cambridge moral philosopher O’Neill, “Each of us and every profession and every institution needs to be trusted.”2 She questioned whether the new climate of accountability and regulation in society was improving trust in physicians. She suggested that new systems of accountability cannot only change but also distort the proper aims of professional practice; if society wants a culture of public service then professionals and public servants must in the end be free to serve the public rather than their paymasters.2 However, if physicians are to be trusted by the public they serve, they have to deserve to be trusted, and that is why medical professionalism matters.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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