5.5 Conclusion

Key Learning Points

Here are the key learning points for this module:

  1. The road to “professionalism” takes place through a series of small steps.
  2. Resource limited settings may expand students’ roles, but safety and professionalism is paramount.
  3. Professionals learn to maintain healthy boundaries to keep both themselves and their patients safe.
  4. With skills and experience, maintaining professionalism even in the most foreign of settings will be possible.
  5. Consider yourself an “ambassador” when working with vulnerable patients.
  6. Patient autonomy and cultural background should be acknowledged and respected in individuals of all ages.
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A busy market street, as seen through the window of a truck.
Photo Credit: K. Pottie, Médecins Sans Frontières, Congo

Host Closure Video

Read the video transcript

I hope this module enhanced your understanding of “professionalism” for the global and refugee health context. Learning to control our emotions and work within our knowledge and skill level is essential for safe, ethical, and sustained engagement; this is the path toward a career in global health. Enjoy the journey!

Duration: 23 seconds


Kevin Pottie


  1. College of Family Physicians of Canada CanMEDS- FMU Undergraduate Competencies from a Family Medicine Perspective November 2009
  2. Sheather J, Tejshri S. “Ethical dilemmas in medical humanitarian practice: cases for reflection from Médecins Sans Frontières.” J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/jme.2010.038448
  3. Project of the ABIM Foundation, ACP–ASIM Foundation, and European Federation of Internal Medicine* Annals of Internal Medicine 2003.
  4. Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) Pre-departure Training Document: www.cfms.org/global_publications.asp