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Ethics and Professionalism

ACP is devoted to policy development and implementation on issues related to medical ethics and professionalism, and is a resource for ACP members and the public.

Ethics, Professionalism & Human Rights Committee

The ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee, with ACP staff develops and implements College policy on bioethics, human rights, and professionalism issues, and develops educational resources addressing these issues as well. The Committee also oversees the process for the review of complaints of unethical conduct against members of the College in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Learn more about the committee

ACP Ethics Manual, Sixth Edition

The ACP Ethics Manual is intended to guide physicians in making ethical decisions in clinical practice, teaching and medical research. MOC and CME credits are available to ACP members and Annals subscribers for completion of an online educational activity and are offered free of charge.

Read the ACP Ethics Manual, Sixth Edition

Physician Charter on Professionalism

The Physician Charter on Professionalism was developed through a collaboration between the ABIM Foundation, the ACP Foundation and the European Federation of Internal Medicine.

ACP received an ABIM Foundation “Putting the Charter into Practice” grant to develop physician education materials addressing stewardship of health care resources. Read about the "Putting the Charter into Practice" grant projects.

Read the Physician Charter

Ethics Issues and Position Papers

ACP staffs the ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee in developing position papers, policy statements, case studies and other resources on a broad range of issues in clinical, research and academic medicine. Subjects addressed include end-of-life care, human rights, physician-industry relations, research integrity and research subject protections, the ethical implications of regulatory and legislative proposals, the ethics of health information technology and the use of online media, patient, caregiver and physician relationships, and other perennial and developing issues of concern to physicians.

Recent position papers developed by the ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee and the ACP Center for Ethics and Professionalism are Ethical Obligations Regarding Short-Term Global Health Clinical Experiences, Hidden Curricula, Ethics, and Professionalism: Optimizing Clinical Learning Environments in Becoming and Being a Physician, Ethics and the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Ethical Implications of the Electronic Health Record: In the Service of the Patient.

Read more about the Position Papers


Stewardship of Health Care Resources

"As a physician performs his or her primary role as a patient's trusted advocate, he or she has a responsibility to use all health-related resources in a technically appropriate and efficient manner." (ACP Ethics Manual, Sixth Edition). What guidance do principles of medical ethics and professionalism offer physicians for fulfilling these responsibilities?

CME credit is available for completion of ACP's Case Studies on stewardship.

Read about medical ethics and the stewardship of health care resources.

Learn More about Ethics, Professionalism Issues

Case Studies

Our case studies draw on ethical challenges encountered by physicians in every day practice. The commentaries developed by the ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee and ACP staff offer a problem-solving approach based on medical ethics principles.

CME credit is available for completion of ACP's Case Studies featured on Medscape.

Read the Case Studies

Ethical Complaints Procedure

Concerns about unprofessional, unethical or illegal conduct on the part of a physician member of the College may come to the College's attention through a complaints filed by an individual or through other sources. ACP is responsible for staffing the complaints process.

More on Ethical Complaints

Contact Us

For more information contact Lois Snyder Sulmasy, JD, Director, via email at, toll free at 800.523.1546 or locally at 215.351.2835.