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On Being a Doctor |

A First Brush with Professional Courtesy

Jules Hirsch, MD
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From The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021-6399.

Requests for Single Reprints: Jules Hirsch, MD, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021-6399; e-mail, hirsch@rockefeller.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(8):613. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-143-8-200510180-00014
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Some time ago, a colleague showed me a letter from the new financial manager of a distinguished academic hospital where he had served as a housestaff officer. All alumni were warned that giving special assistance to fellow physicians or their families, sometimes called professional courtesy, could be too costly in these times of health care penury. I always thought that the injunction of the Hippocratic Oath “to consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art” was a good lesson in kindness to be shown to those who practiced my “art” and their families. I shared my colleague's indignation and, as I considered the matter, remembered my first brush with professional courtesy.





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