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On Being a Doctor |


Ora Paltiel, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC
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Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem 91120, Israel Requests for Reprints: Ora Paltiel, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC, Department of Social Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital, POB 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1996;125(5):416-417. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-125-5-199609010-00010
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I trained in a large university teaching hospital in Montreal. Our patient population was cosmopolitan. We learned how to interpret the silence of one ethnic group, the screams of another. The atmosphere was a tolerant one. Empathy abounded, yet patients had to adapt to us, come on time, wait their turn, and accept any piece of information or advice that we, with our white coats, had to offer. We supplied them with the facts, often without being asked. Although patient autonomy was respected, there was no question about who had the upper hand. Medicine and its practitioners were from the dominant culture.





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