I’ve been asking some candidates what professionalism means to them. Some commented that professionalism means adhering to a particular standard of behavior, meeting the expectations of others in dealings with them. Of course, there is a textbook definition — but to me, it means fighting off your own interests and adhering to a strict code of conduct, ethics and behavior, that are looking out for the interests of the other person. We want a doctor to think of our needs, not the drug reps. We want nurses to put aside any personal problems and focus on those of the patients. In the presence of professionalism, we feel safe, that what we share will be kept secret. That the person we are speaking with is always concerned about our well-being. Expressing these values in thought, word and deed is a great foundation for being a consummate professional. The core of professionalism is responsibility and commitment. Every routine day we are challenged to bring our best to those we care for- those who demonstrate these values deserve the title of professional.