Musings On Professionalism

professionalism  The interested reader is directed to the May 12, 2015 JAMA issue containing multiple short essays regarding professionalism across the spectrum of education and practice.  Most impressive to this reviewer has been the accumulating evidence of the pernicious effect of money, greed, and income inequality on professionalism.  In the mid-20th century, a primary care physician made 2.75 times the US median household income (which were mostly one-earner households) and specialists made only slightly more.  Now a primary care physician makes 3.40 times the median household income and “some specialists earn 10 and 20 times that level,” with income boosted the more tests and procedures done.  Financial incentives of this magnitude make it nearly impossible for mere humans to behave as true fiduciaries for our stakeholders – patients, learners, peers, other healthcare providers, shareholders in healthcare organizations, and taxpayers.–Laura Willett, MD
Link To Article

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