My colleague, Fred Hafferty, and I have been working for the past five years to articulate a grounded theoretical frame for understanding medical professionalism, primarily by applying the tools of complexity science. Our work, to date, has been mixed methods--historical, qualitative, numerical, networks.
We finally published a somewhat comprehensive overview of what we mean when we say "medical professionalism is a complex system."
Click here for a summary of our article "The Increasing Complexities of Medical Professionalism"
The article is our second major statement on professionalism from a complexity science perspective.
The first, published in 2006, can be found here:
"The Complexities of Professionalism: A Preliminary Investigation?
There is still lots of work to do and, in part, many of our ideas are tentative and somewhat vague. But, we at least have a reasonably solid grasp of the point we are trying to make.
The article was published in the February 2010 Edition of Academic Medicine, which is a special edition for the Flexner Centenary. (Click here to learn more about Flexner)