Social and technological changes are challenging doctors, causing many to rethink their role, the way they practise and the nature of their professionalism. What does the future hold? The Royal College of Physicians and The King's Fund convened 10 events around England and Wales where doctors and other health professionals discussed their changing roles as clinicians, as managers and as members of multidisciplinary teams. Understanding Doctors: Harnessing professionalism presents the opportunities and challenges for doctors in their own words. Their strong and thoughtful views will make a significant contribution to the debate on the future of the profession.