Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD
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Wartman S.; Charter on Medical Professionalism: Putting the Charter into Practice. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:854-855. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-10-200305200-00031
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(10):854-855.
TO THE EDITOR:
While I strongly agree with the need for a document like the physician charter (1), I believe the current document is overly simplistic in its approach and falls short of recognizing some of the complexities involved in the practice of medicine. The statement that professionalism “demands placing the interests of patients above those of the physician,” while laudable, does not accurately reflect a basic tenet of human nature: namely, to act in one's self-interest. A more realistic statement would be for the physician to strive for a congruence of interest with patients. Furthermore, the “interests of patients” is a vague phrase and could include “interests” that are beyond the scope of reasonable medical practice. Perhaps the phrase “health care interests” would be more specific.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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