Modern Masters

  • Richard Colgan


Three physicians have been chosen from the modern era for their unique contributions to the art of medicine. Dr. Theodore Woodward, a renowned clinician-scientist, has taught the art of medicine to thousands of physicians over a career spanning decades. At the heart of his teachings has been the advice to always remember the patient in our desire to help them. Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, a bioethicist, reminds us that the physician is a moral agent who has a responsibility to be virtuous and that the good of each patient should be the goal for our actions. Dr. Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to focusing on the inequality of health care to the most vulnerable members of our society. In addition to serving the poor one patient at a time, Farmer forces us to look at the structural violence, which is disproportionately realized by the poorer and weaker members of our planet.

The lessons from these three modern masters are unified in that they call for the physician to serve our patients with humility, virtuosity, and civility. Each modern master adds to the art of medicine by way of his or her individual philosophy, his or her teachings, and as exemplified by his or her life’s work.


Moral Agent Patient Relationship Structural Violence Maryland School Hippocratic Oath 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family & Community MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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