Compassion & Empathy

The Medicine Class of 1966 borrowed the concept of the Four Pillars of Professionalism—altruism, integrity, responsibility and respect—from a plaque near the entrance of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. On the Professionalism Sculpture the Four Pillars of Professionalism were listed along with compassion and empathy.

After the Medicine Class of 1966 Professionalism Sculpture unveiling ceremony in the fall of 2016, there was a class banquet where copy of Sir Luke Fildes 1891 painting "The Doctor" was on display. The painting can be found at the Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom. Since 1891, the painting has been used by the medical profession to reflect professionalism with an emphasis on compassion and empathy.

Commitment to Professionalism

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry provides an outstanding education within a research intensive environment where tomorrow's physicians, dentists and health researchers learn to be socially responsible leaders in the advancement of human health.

Faculty, students and staff strive to ensure that clinical, educational and research activities are conducted in a way that is consistent with the School's Four Pillars of Professionalism:


  • 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 and family


  • 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
  • Ensures 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, 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 collaboration 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

In 1966, the Class was known as the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Medicine Class of 1966.