Charter of Professionalism

More than 10 years ago, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry developed and endorsed this Charter of Professionalism. A guideline for all students, faculty and staff, the charter is based on three fundamental principles of professionalism:

  1. Primacy of patient welfare
  2. Patient autonomy
  3. Social justice

Four Pillars of Professionalism

The Four Pillars of Professionalism were created to guide students, faculty and staff to ensure professional conduct at all times, whether in the classroom, clinical setting or outside of formal educational settings. While the Four Pillars apply most directly to those in medicine and dentistry, the principles can be extended to encompass all programs and constituents across the School.


  • Strives to serve patients and their families with exemplary clinical care.
  • Puts the needs and interests of patients and families first.
  • Assists colleagues/ learners to address personal issues.
  • Assists colleagues/ learners to enhance knowledge and skills required in a clinical or educational setting.
  • Actively supports the educational mission of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
  • Recognizes that the time and energy allotted to performing these functions should not interfere with time for caring for self and family.
  • Remains cognizant that all patient care activities and interactions should be conducted with the best interests of the patient as the foremost guiding principle.


  • Demonstrates honesty and trustworthiness in assessments, learning and study, including referencing sources for intellectual material.
  • Answers questions in a forthright and honest manner.
  • Represents self honestly, including acknowledging limitations in ability, and identifying oneself accurately in interactions and documentation.
  • Openly identifies personal conflicts that interfere with patient's care.
  • Provides information in a clear manner that is understandable to the patient.
  • Respects patients' confidentiality.
  • Admits error promptly and frankly to clinical supervisors.


  • Seeks clarity on roles and responsibilities from colleagues, teachers, staff and preceptors.
  • Seeks and gives feedback to colleagues, teachers, staff and preceptors.
  • Carries out required activities in a timely and dedicated fashion and strives to excel in their delivery.
  • Ensure careful handover of incomplete duties to another appropriate person.
  • Attends to own personal health through nutrition and physical activity and seeks help when physically or mentally ill.
  • Commits to evaluating and upgrading scientific knowledge.
  • Commits to continuing professional development and maintenance of competence.
  • Commits to excellence in health care, improving access to care, and optimizing the health of the community.


  • Is courteous in daily interactions with classmates, teachers health care professionals, patients and families. Acknowledges members of the larger medical community whether at school, or in clinical environments.
  • Strives to understand roles of and appropriately engages other members of the health team.
  • Maintains professional demeanor, language and attire.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of individual autonomy and how this relates to decision making for patients and families.
  • Attends learning activities and clinical duties punctually. Maintains an excellent attendance record, communicating with teachers and supervisors in advance of absence. Helps to create an environment which is conducive to learning through collaborative and openness.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of individual diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, ethnicity, appearance, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other arbitrary factors.
  • Respects the personal boundaries of others, including but not limited to, refraining from making unwanted romantic or sexual overtures or physical contact.