Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer a pragmatic definition of clinical excellence. <br/><br/>Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a conceptual review of key studies relating to clinical excellence. <br/><br/>Findings – The pursuit of clinical excellence can be profitably considered in terms of 15 pillars of excellence comprising “technical” pillars, “personal” pillars, and “future” pillars. The five technical pillars are: evidence-based thinking and practice; professional and peer accreditation; decision support systems; effectiveness and efficiency; learning and risk management. The five personal pillars comprise: interpersonal skills; collaboration and leadership; resilience and stress management; user involvement; moral principles. The five future pillars consist of: policy and succession planning; teaching and training; innovation; research and publications; income-resource generation. <br/><br/>Originality/value – These 15 pillars of excellence may serve as an aide-memoire for clinicians in their professional practice, as a pragmatic framework for both individual and organizational appraisal, accreditation, revalidation and reward systems, and as a teaching tool for a range of health-care professionals. <br/><br/><br/
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