2012 Volume 88 Issue 4 Pages 144-151
Physicians have been required to possess high ethical standards, as medical practice is directly involved with patients' lives. Although ethics arise out of an individual's consciousness, ethical regulations imposed by the nation/government together with self-regulation by physician groups are important in the practice of ethics, for which reason countries around the world undertake various initiatives. This paper investigates physician licensure, organizations governing physician status, the role of physician groups, and the actual conditions of lifelong learning and ethics education in developed countries worldwide, in contrast with which it throws problems in the situation in Japan into relief. Organizations governing physician status, the form of medical associations, and the improvement of lifelong learning are pointed out as critical issues especially in Japan.
(Communicated by Takashi SUGIMURA, M.J.A.)