American Academy of Private Physicians Ethical Principles


Medical practice presents the potential for situations in which the interests of the physician and the patient do not coincide. Ethical principles have always served to guide physician behavior and to protect patients’ interests and wellbeing. Every practice model is liable to present ethical challenges, and all physicians, regardless of the way that they are compensated, are bound to follow the same professional ethical principles.

Novel medical practice models may present previously unconsidered ethical challenges. These challenges call for new guidelines to clarify ethical physician behavior and to protect patients. Novel medical practice models may also serve to uncover new ways to align patient and physician interests and to deliver care with fewer potential ethical pitfalls than existing models.

In its mission to support and promote innovation in medical practices for the betterment of patient care, the AAPP affirms the following ethical principles for all physicians.

Statement of Ethical Principles

  1. A physician shall act in accordance with the AMA Principles of Medical Ethics.
  2. A physician in a retainer practice shall act in accordance with the AMA Ethical Policy for Retainer Practices.
  3. A physician shall be keenly aware of potential conflicts of interest which result from receiving third party remuneration, whether from insurers, pharmaceutical companies, employers, the state or federal government, or research grants. Physicians should make these potential conflicts known to their patients whenever they may affect the ability of the physician to act purely in the patient’s best interest.
  4. A physician shall strive to develop practices that align physician financial incentives with patient interests.
  5. Providing uncompensated care, except in an emergency, is not ethically mandatory. However, uncompensated care of the indigent is profoundly praiseworthy. We invite every physician to volunteer to provide such care in an amount that is in accordance with that physician’s highest calling to perform charitable acts.