The role of the doctor within the healthcare team has changed, and will continue to change. Societies need to understand not only what doctors can do, but also what can or should be done by other members of the team. Doctors have a duty to society as a whole to examine their accountability, and not to continue blindly to do what has always been done. Many political, social, economic, demographic and international events necessitate a discussion on the roles and values of the doctor in the world today. The international mobility of both doctors and patients underlines the need for a global definition. Only once the role of the doctor has been defined, can the processes and content of medical education be defined to produce the person equipped to fulfil that future role.
Between 2010 and 2012, WFME convened an international task force of 25 experts in medical education to define the role of doctor globally. The task force held its first meeting in Copenhagen in March 2010, and agreed the outline of important issues to be explored. The working subgroups of the task force reported on their work during 2010 and 2011 at the second task force meeting in Copenhagen in March 2012. The work will conclude in Spring 2018.
The key parameters to define the role of the doctor were identified by the WFME task force as:
- the doctor as communicator, educator and researcher
- the doctor as manager of health care
- demographic changes
Role of the Doctor task force (2012)
Role of the Doctor task force (2010)