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Demonstrable professionalism: linking patient-centred care and revalidation


  • Funding: None.
  • Conflict of interest: None.


The move by the Medical Board of Australia to commence a conversation with the medical profession about revalidation reflects that patient-centred care is at the heart of good medical practice. Patients judge their doctors’ commitment to them based on whether their individual interactions with doctors meet their needs. We argue that ensuring that doctors are continuing to perform at a level that the community regards as acceptable is a demonstration of an individual doctor's professionalism and thus their commitment to patient-centred care. This impacts on the profession as a whole, which needs to commit to what we call ‘demonstrable professionalism’ – the ongoing and active demonstration of performance that the community regards as acceptable. This needs to be supported by organisations in which doctors work, reflecting the importance of organisational context to clinical practice. Revalidation processes thus need both to reflect the work of doctors and be meaningful to the community. The move to consider revalidation of doctors by regulatory authorities should not be seen by the profession as a threat, but more as an opportunity to demonstrate the profession's commitment to patient-centred care.