The seven roles of physicians

04 April 2014

Last year, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority revised the descriptions of the seven physician roles used in medical specialist training so that they match the future work of physicians. The report of the seven roles of physicians is now available in English.

The revised names for the seven physician roles:

  • Medical expert
  • Communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Manager/administrator/organiser
  • Health advocate
  • Scholar/researcher/teacher
  • Professional

The physician roles were introduced in Denmark in the educational programme for 2003 and originate from a Canadian framework. The Canadian framework was developed from analyses of the needs of society and describes the roles/competencies that physicians should be able to master. The seven physician roles are used in the Danish specialist training to prepare physicians on what roles they can have in their future work.

The work to revise the roles was started in 2012 based on an evaluation of the then roles. Experience suggested that some of the roles were interpreted differently and that all roles were not perceived as equally relevant for all specialities. Moreover, it was pointed out that the roles of many specialities' learning objectives were described as separate roles and were not suitable for physicians' medical practice where multiple roles often come in use simultaneously.

In the report, the seven roles of physicians have therefore been revised and adjusted, and they are now based on various medical situations that physicians meet every day. Thus, the new description of the seven roles can make it easier for the specialty societies to prepare learning objectives, select assessment programmes and make professional profiles.


The report about the seven roles of physicians (2013)

Evaluation of physician roles in the report: Postgraduate medical training in Denmark – status and future perspectives (2012) (in Danish)