Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Postphysician Era

"Is it true? Are we actually entering the "postphysician era" in which the ancient, archetypal function of a doctor will now be parceled out among medical technicians and paramedical professionals? I do not think so. But to rediscover the meaning of being a physician within the constraints of today's society will require that we know with certainty the essence of the practice of medicine, the essence of what it means to be a physician. The role of physician is fundamental to human society and culture. In one mode or another, this role has always existed. It represents the blending within the human psyche of knowledge and love, the mysterious but necessary balance between mind and heart, scientific detachment and compassionate engagement in the suffering of our fellow human beings." ...from "The Essence of Being a Physician" by Jacob Needleman, PhD

(Needleman J: The essence of being a physician-In The aim of American
medicine within the constraints of today's society-A forum. West J Med
1986Aug; 145:185-186)

These comments are over 25 years old.  Maybe we come to this point at regular intervals.  It feels like we're there again.  Will it pass?

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