Towards a new professionalism in health care


Health care professionals (medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists etc) are increasingly asked to make their work visible and be accountable for what they do, as it is widely believed that transparency and accountability will improve care and -- eventually -- reduce costs. Change does not come from outside only, however, as also internal processes (like the educational background and family situations of new recruits) ask for other ways of organising professional work. Within the literature on professions it is often questioned what these changing requirements mean for the professional status of health care workers. Many complaints are raised about the loss of professionalism. On the other hand, professions are criticised for being too protective of their own domains and too little involved in societal concerns. In this seminar we will go beyond this question of professional ethics and ask how new notions of professionalism are getting shape in daily health care practice. What kinds of initiatives are explored to adapt professional work to the new circumstances, and what does this mean for professionals and their work? How do professionals deal with the growing emphasis on transparency of their work, and how do they integrate societal demands for quality and efficiency in their daily routines? During the seminar practitioners and scholars discuss both theoretical and empirical developments, nationally as well as internationally. The main purpose of the day is to get to grips with the new notions of professionalism.


09.30 - 10.00 Welcome (coffee & tea) 
10.00 - 10.15 Welcome and Introduction by Roland Bal (chair) 
10.15 - 11.15 Key Note by Ruth McDonald: Heading for new professionalism? Experiences in the NHS 
11.15 - 12.15 Jos de Blok: "Buurtzorg"
Commentator: Jan-Willem Duyvendak 
12.15 - 13.30 Lunch 
13.30 - 14.30 Cor Kalkman: Patient safety and the new professional
Commentator: Yolande Witman 
14.30 - 15.30 Iris Wallenburg: The politics of medical specialty training reform
Commentator: Marianne de Visser 
15.30 - 16.00 Coffee & Tea Break 
16.00 - 17.00 Marieke Schuurmans: Stimulating improvement and accountability in nursing
Commentator: Karin Timm 
17.00 - 18.00 Closing & Drinks

Confirmed speakers

  • Ruth McDonald, Professor of Healthcare Innovation and Learning, Nottingham University Business School, UK
  • Jan-Willem Duyvendak, Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
  • Marianne de Visser, Professor of Neuromuscular Diseases at the University of Amsterdam, and Member of the Governing Board of the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • Cor Kalkman, Professor of Anesthesiology, UMC Utrecht
  • Jos de Blok, Buurtzorg Nederland
  • Marieke Schuurmans, Professor of Nursing, UMC Utrecht and Hogeschool Utrecht
  • Yolande Witman, Physician, Researcher and Organisational Expert
  • Karin Timm, Chair V&VN Department Nurse Practitioners
  • Iris Wallenburg, Researcher at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management

Location and admission

The seminar will take place at the M-building (Tokyo Room, M1-17) of the Woudestein campus of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Admission is free.
You can apply by sending an email to: