, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 222-227
Date: 19 Jun 2007

Professionalism and Medicine

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The practice of medicine is not a business and can never be one ... Our fellow creatures cannot be dealt with as a man deals in corn and coal; the human heart by which we live must control our professional relations.

Sir William Osler, 1903 [1]

It is widely acknowledged that potent forces of a political, legal, and market-driven nature are producing great stress on the practice of medicine [25]. Recognizing that such influences potentially threaten the underpinnings that unite physicians, patients, and society, there is widespread concern both inside and outside the profession concerning the impact such forces impart on medical practice. As a consequence of these matters, the discourse pertaining to medical professionalism is of considerable interest to the practicing physician and their professional societies, the institutions where they work, and the myriad of bodies that oversee and regulate the practice of medicine. This interest has spawned a substantial literature examining the in ...