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Keywords:

  • professionalism;
  • ethics;
  • core competency;
  • assessment

Professionalism, long a consideration for physicians and their patients, is coming to the forefront as an essential element of graduate medical education as one of the six new core competency requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Professionalism is also integral to the widely endorsed Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (Model). Program directors have now been charged with implementing the new core competencies in training programs and to assess the acquisition of these competencies in their trainees. To assist emergency medicine (EM) program directors in this endeavor, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD-EM) held a consensus conference in March 2002. A focused Consensus Group addressed the specific core competency of professionalism during the course of this conference, and the results are highlighted in this article. The definition and curricular requirements relating to professionalism are highlighted, specific techniques for evaluating this core competency in EM are reviewed, and recommendations are provided regarding the most appropriate assessment method for EM programs.