Professionalism in the 21st Century Medical Practice

Continuous Professional Development Support Scheme


The Professionalism in 21st Century Medical Practice course is fully-online and aimed at all registered medical doctors in all specialties. This flexible course has been built to suit the busy schedules of medical doctors and is delivered in digital format through our online teaching platform.

This course offers medical doctors of all specialties the opportunity to develop key principles, values and behaviours in order to improve doctor-patient relationships while also fundamentally improving the standard of patient care.

With the essence of this course centered around patient care, this free online course is based on the Medical Council’s Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners. Medical doctors who enrol on this course will gain an in-depth understanding of the three pillars which provide the foundation of Professionalism as defined by the Irish Medical Council:

  • Partnership
  • Practice
  • Performance

There are 12 online modules in total which can be taken at your own pace which covers a wide variety of key topics in relation to medical professionalism, with each module worth 5 CPD credits.

Receive more information Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Professionals PDF | 736.2 KB

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you should:

  • Understand the importance and the dynamics of professional relationships with patients, with colleagues and with society
  • Appreciate our professional commitment to honesty, integrity and probity with avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Maintain health and fitness to practice and engage in Continuing Professional Development
  • Understand our responsibility to raise appropriate clinical concerns and appreciate the dynamics of whistleblowing
  • Understand the professional obligation of confidentiality and the potential risks of using social media
  • Commit to open disclosure of error or adverse outcomes
  • Have an understanding of common ethical dilemmas in medical practice
  • Understand the principles of end-of life-care and decisions associated with this
Module title  Description CPD credits
Relationship with Patients: Care The complexities of the doctor-patient relationship including empathy and compassion, power differentials, respect, trust and advocacy. 5
Relationship with Patients: Communication Important aspects of communication with patients, including use of language, jargon and elements of cultural awareness. This module also covers informed consent and the importance of patients becoming 'partners' in their own healthcare. 5
Relationship with Colleagues Professional loyalty, collegiality and the important area of interprofessional teamworking. This module also deals with raising concerns/whistleblowing and the causes and effects of disruptive behaviour. 5
Relationship with Society The fundamental basis of a profession is our implicit contract with society to uphold basic standards of behaviour and professional performance including service to society, altruism and self-regulation. 5
Professional Performance Issues concerning the scope of professional practice, continuous professional development, self-reflection and audit and safe introduction of new technology/new procedures into clinical practice. 5
Honesty and Integrity Advertising and portrayal of services, conflicts of interest, duty of candour and the obligation to maintain adequate professional indemnity. 5
Confidentiality The duty to maintain patient confidentiality is a core responsibility of all doctors. This module explores this responsibility including elements of data protection, conversations with relatives, electronic patient records and the use of social media. 5
Maintaining Health and Fitness to Practice Important issues around physician health, burnout, substance abuse and sources of help/support for doctors with health issues. 5
Patient Safety Adverse events in healthcare, risk management and safety checklists, infection control and medication safety. 5
Continuity of Care Documentation of patient care, delegation and transfer of care and clinical handover including handover tools. 5
Ethical Practice Ethical principles in modern healthcare with a particular focus on dealing with vulnerable patients, research ethics and clinical trials. 5
Teaching and Mentoring Tradition of teaching and mentoring the next generation of doctors with an emphasis on the importance of role models and the responsibilities of adequately supervising trainee doctors. 5