Physician’s Professional Competence Exam in Adab al-Tabib
Background and Purpose

Determination of the professional competence of physicians was one of the most important and significant issues in the educational and therapeutic system of medicine in Islamic civilization. Hence, there were some approaches to test physicians in manuscripts of sages in Islamic civilization era. One of these works is ‘Adab al-Tabib’, a well-known historic book on medical ethics written by Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi (8th century AD). In this book, comprehensive and accurate approaches to determine the professional competence of physicians were provided. The aim of this paper is to review the determination of physicians’ professional competence according to the text of Adab al-Tabib.

Methods and Materials

  In this review article, we reviewed and analyzed the subject of the physicians' professional competence exam in the ‘Adab al-Tabib’ by Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi and the content was compiled by means of content analysis.


Al-Ruhawi designed a bipartite exam to determine the professional competence of physicians; the theoretical part assesses the physician’s knowledge and attitude like a deep interview. While in the practical part, practical skills such as familiarity with the tools and methods of operation and some practices such as “Fasd” (Phlebotomy) were evaluated. During this exam, assessment of the principles and techniques of specialized knowledge with full details have been considered in addition to knowledge of the theoretical foundations and basic sciences. In conclusion, Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi designed a structured comprehensive examination for the determination of the professional competence of physicians in order to provide an instrument to assess physicians’ knowledge, attitude, behavior, and skills for the use of his time scientific society. Some matters are outstanding and can be used

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Islamic and Iranian Traditional Medicine, Volume:8 Issue: 3, 2018
389 - 397  
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