Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 25-34

First online:

The physician and social renewal: Julius B. Richmond as role model

  • Charles J. BusseyAffiliated withHistory Dept., Western Kentucky University
  • , Donna Bussey

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We live in an age of “high tech” medicine which affects both health care recipients and physicians who are taught its many wonders and uses. It is easy in this atmosphere of specialization for clinicians, professors and medical students to become isolated and to ignore social issues which affect health care in its broadest sense.

Individuals who are committed to the “common good” are the ones historically who have been effective change agents. It would be tragic simply to stand back and allow the cynical and greedy to dominate any profession which deals with the poor, the uninsured and the homeless.

It is imperative for physicians to take a broad view of today's problems in health care delivery systems, for they can have an enormous impact on the kind of world our children will inherit. It is essential for physicians to become involved in social concerns, and in improving health care delivery, at all levels in their practice.

Given their power and prestige, it is crucial for physicians and aspiring physicians to have positive role models. Dr. Julius B. Richmond provides an admirable example of a physician who cares about his profession, his patients and his nation. Through his research, his public service and his teaching, Dr. Richmond has demonstrated the difference a single individual can make in improving the quality of life for all Americans.