Lawrence Hergott, MD, professor of medicine in the School of Medicine cardiology division, wrote an essay for the Journal of the American Medical Association about preserving the soul of medicine when external pressures threaten to distract us.

“I have been increasingly concerned about the effects of external forces imposed on physicians in the last decade. My concern includes not only the obviously diminished autonomy of physicians, but also what seems to be lessened organizational and cultural value of physicians. More bothersome are some of the responses physicians have made to the pressures,” Hergott wrote.

“Some of the imposed pressures, and some of the responses to them, threaten to extinguish the soul of medicine—that thing beyond the biomedical, immutable, sustaining: the caring, compassionate, dedicated, enthusiastic attitude that set us on the difficult-by-nature, enriching journey called the medical life.”


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