The concept of medicine as a profession, and what medical professionalism means has been discussed and described since Hippocrates. There has been an avalanche of renewed codes, charters, reports and documents published in the last 10 years across the English speaking medical world.
Why the plethora of publications in recent years? Are there real threats to professionalism? If so, what is external, what is internal to the medical profession? What matters to the future of medicine? What are we doing about it?
The vast majority of this writing is gender neutral, it speaks of all doctors. How is it viewed from a female perspective? What does it mean in the future for women doctors? Should and do women consider their responsibilities and obligations to their profession and their community differently to men, and what about their personal responsibilities? Are men and women responding differently to the powerful forces shaping medicine today?
These questions will be discussed in the light of the changing medical workforce, and in the light of another contemporary question – what is the use of doctors? As we consider the changing health workforce we might ask – what role will women play in the future?