David G. De Marco, SJ, MD
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De Marco D.; Contemplating the White Coat. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:73. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-1-199907060-00028
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(1):73.
TO THE EDITOR:
Wear (1) and Branch (2) have contributed thoughtfully to the discussion of values in medicine and their inculcation. Wear rightly argues that the white coat ceremony, or ritual, and the subseqeunt wearing of the white coat by student-physicians may hinder the development of the self-reflective skills critical for the cultivation of virtues intrinsic to the practice of medicine. She recommends “creating new rituals” around “community-based sites” where caregivers might model for student-physicians the virtues in medicine. Branch, on the other hand, suggests the importance of creating a forum for reflection among students who sense their values eroding during their training. Underlying both perspectives, I submit, is the question: How do we cultivate the virtuous physician?
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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