Defining Professional Behaviour in Midwifery Practice

Lisa Morgan, RM, BSc, BHScMW, MA

For 50 years the professionalism literature has echoed the same sentiments; medical education places too much emphasis on the biological or technical aspects of medicine at the expense of the psychosocial or humanistic qualities such as caring, empathy, humility, compassion, and sensitivity.1 Thirty years ago, the discipline of sociology defined a profession, in contrast to an occupation, as a vocation with a body of knowledge and skills put into service for the good of others. The specialized, complex and uncertain nature of that expertise conferred autonomy, charging the profession with self-regulation in order to honour the social contract


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