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Jointly Provided by
Center for Continuing and Outreach Education at
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
and BioEthics Conslulting, LLC

Professional Renewal
In Medicine [through] Ethics


Outline of Sessions:

Session One: Friday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
The Ideals of Medicine: The “Good Doctor”
The purpose of this session is to identify the ideal characteristics (i.e., values) that define “the good doctor.” This descriptive analysis will be used in later sessions to provide comparison when various deviations from the “ideal” are encountered. In the end, this exercise will frame the “moral” and “ethical” dimensions of each of the following sessions. It will also provide a “neutral” environment for members of the group to evaluate society’s--and the professions--expectations for physicians.

Session Two: Saturday, 8:30 - 10:00 AM
Personal Integrity and Accountability
The purpose of this session is to have the participants share–in their own words–why they were required to take this course. We want to know–from the perspective of the licensing board–why they are here. What did they do–or, what were they accused of doing–that led their licensing board to, in most cases, impose restrictions on their ability to practice medicine. Our expectation is that most participants
understand that they are among “kindred spirits” and that each of them is inclined to be open and honest with their colleagues. This may very well be the first step in the healing process. This session is usually the most difficult session in the entire weekend experience because of the self-revelation. We will ask participants to begin their ten-minute presentation with the words, “I’m here because I....”

Session Three: Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon
Ethical Accountability in American Medicine
The purpose of this session is to examine significant developments in the role that ethical accountability has had in American medicine since the end of World War II. In particular, we will examine the ethical standards as articulated by major medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and the American Hospital Association.

Session Four: Saturday, 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Ethical Accountability in the Physician-Patient Relationship
The purpose of this session will be to examine the four historically significant models of the doctor-patient relationship for the practice of medicine in the United States. Each of these models has acceptable and unacceptable implications for contemporary practice in light of the legally significant issues of patients' rights, patient autonomy and the patient's right to self-determination in making medical or treatment choices.

Session Five: Saturday, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Boundary Violations in the Physician-Patient Relationship
The purpose of this session is to examine the clear--and, not-so-clear--boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship. Often, professional misconduct is a matter of interpretation. The fact is, however, that among professionals, even the appearance of wrong-doing can be as damaging as wrong-doing itself. This session will examine several cases of alleged--and, actual--misconduct in an explication of the illegitimate boundary crossings by professionals.

Session Six: Sunday, 8:30 - 10:30 AM
Professional Accountability, Licensing and Discipline
The purpose of this session is to examine the concept of professional discipline when infractions to the acceptable standards of professional behavior occur. We will look at the historic difficulty in imposing disciplinary sanctions on professionals and to the asserted principle that a professional group can do an effective job of policing itself. We will look at the wide range of disciplinary sanctions that are used by American medical licensing boards in their effort to validate the claim that the profession can be made safe from the ill-trained, un-licensed, un-ethical, or illegal practice of any person.

Session Seven: Sunday, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
The Physician and Public Accountability
The purpose of this session is to examine the larger context for imposing discipline on individuals because of violations in their professional obligations. We will look historically at developing systems for national accountability, including the National Practitioner Data Bank and the newer Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) which in 2013 were combined into a single entity.