Teaching Professionalism: Passing the Torch
The increase in financial incentives for physicians driven by healthcare reform has created a direct conflict with the professional standards of medicine. Medical faculty must ensure that their students properly understand the nature of the relationships that permit medicine to enjoy the benefits of being a profession (rather than a trade) and that they learn the appropriate balance between financial and professional considerations. Armed with this knowledge, the generation of physicians now in training can understand the delicate balance that must be maintained between financial exigencies and professional imperatives. They will then be prepared to participate in the reform process, embrace its positive aspects, and argue effectively against its negative ones.