Citations 0
Book and Media Reviews
September 7, 2011

Professionalism in Medicine: A Case-Based Guide for Medical Students

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (

JAMA. 2011;306(9):1005-1006. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1272

Sometime around 300 BC, the Greek philosopher Diogenes lit his lantern, searching by day for an honest man. Through such symbolic, embodied acts, he sought to confront hypocrisy and his society's moral decline; in the current era, this image is invoked by such efforts to maintain ideals and expose difficult truths.

In their insightful Professionalism in Medicine: A Case-Based Guide for Medical Students, editors John Spandorfer, Charles Pohl, Susan Rattner, and Thomas Nasca have developed a valuable resource. Like rays from Diogenes' lantern, their book unflinchingly illuminates the bitter challenges facing medicine: despite high ideals, societal trust in medicine is low and medicine's professional ethos has severely eroded. Current medical education—in which integrity is easily professed yet rarely examined and empathy withers across the arc of medical training—is contrasted with the possibility of training physicians to be trustworthy stewards for patients and the public.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview