Role of the Doctor

The NZMA's Role of the Doctor statement is referenced in much of our advocacy and has particular relevance to clinical leadership, integration and role substitution advocacy. It also backs up our interest in wider societal issues such as health equity. A focus on professionalism is a natural extension of the Role of the Doctor statement.

Particular aspects of the RoD that will be emphasised in the current environment include:

  • the meaning of diagnosis
  • the right of doctors to be able to speak out.

The values of the profession must underpin any discussion of the role of the doctor. Key concepts are altruism, service and compassion.

Compassion is fundamental to the relationship between the patient and the doctor, and is defined as a deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.