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Table 3

The American College of Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct (2003)11
During the continuum of pre-, intra-, and postoperative care we accept responsibilities to serve as effective advocates of our patients' needs:
 • Disclose therapeutic options, including their risks and benefits
 • Disclose and resolve any conflict of interest that might influence decisions regarding care
 • Be sensitive and respectful of patients, understanding their vulnerability during the perioperative period
 • Fully disclose adverse events and medical errors
 • Acknowledge patients' psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual needs
 • Encompass within our surgical care the special needs of terminally ill patients
 • Acknowledge and support the needs of patients' families
 • Respect the knowledge, dignity, and perspective of other health care professionals
Our profession is also accountable to our communities and to society. In return for their trust, as Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, we accept responsibilities to:
 • Provide the highest quality surgical care
 • Abide by the values of honesty, confidentiality, and altruism
 • Participate in lifelong learning
 • Maintain competence throughout our surgical careers
 • Participate in self-regulation by setting, maintaining, and enforcing practice standards
 • Improve care by evaluating its processes and outcomes
 • Inform the public about subjects within our expertise
 • Advocate strategies to improve individual and public health by communicating with government, health care organizations, and industry
 • Work with society to establish just, effective, and efficient distribution of health care resources
 • Provide necessary surgical care without regard to gender, race, disability, religion, social status, or ability to pay
 • Participate in educational programs addressing professionalism