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May 27, 1998

On Being a Physician: Choices, Sacrifice, and Balance

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(20):1609. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-20-jbk0527

To the Editor.—I trust that Dr Linzer1 is primarily speaking of the potential "sacrifices" made by physician leaders in their administrative mode. I would be quite concerned if this philosophy were applied to practicing physicians since one of the meanings of sacrifice is to give something up for an ideal or a greater good (which is why many of us went into medicine in the first place). For example, the "sacrifice fly" in baseball involves placing the good of the team ahead of that of the individual. Even in practice there must be a proper perspective between the competing needs of patient, individual, and family. However, physicians must never lose sight of the enormous gratification derived from so-called sacrifices in the care of patients.

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