Medical school curricular reform to address humanism is now a prominent issue in Taiwan. Taiwan's community of medical professionals have for the last 100 years played a leading role in the nation's modernization and democratization. With the democratic opening of 1990, they took up the cause of humanistic reform of medical education. Although the reform has not sufficiently specified the depth and breadth of professionalism to be achieved through the medical school curriculum, it points at least to the most desired professionalism goals. Collaboration with the international community, particularly with Taiwanese-American medical educators and researchers who bring their experience back to Taiwan, has been a potent force for the advancement of the humanities and professionalism in medical education. This paper presents the definition of professionalism and the history of the medical profession from the perspective of medical education in Taiwan, and discusses recent transitions.
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