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Medical professionalism refers to attributes, values, behaviors, responsibilities and commitments of physicians that are congruent with the public’s expectations. An international workshop on medical professionalism took place at the Dead Sea, Israel, on December 11–12, 2016. The meeting brought together local medical professionals, physicians and others, as well as international experts, to discuss definitions of professionalism and wrestle with current challenges facing the profession including its perceived status and physician satisfaction, unprofessional behavior and its relation to health care quality and patient safety, and professionalism as a learned competence. Individual medical schools reported on educational efforts to promote professionalism in their curricula. Patient complaints as an improvement mechanism were explored on a national and health plan level. I was found that complaints regarding physician behavior are rare in the Israeli context and need to be dealt with expeditiously at a local level in order to be effective tools for change. The meeting provided a venue to understand local and international strategies and mechanism for regulation and self-regulation, highlighting the role of the Israel Medical Association. A major focus of the meeting was on intergenerational differences in attitude and practice and the necessary adaptation of medicine to the digital age. We provide an overview of the topics addressed, synopsis, evaluation and lessons learned in this first-ever national meeting on medical professionalism in Israel.