Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: I agree with Dr Cohen1 that medicine has a contract with society. The
basis of this contract is professionalism. The Medical Professionalism Project2 has identified 3 fundamental principles of professionalism,
one of which is "social justice." This principle has direct application to
affirmative action. Upholding this principle means promoting justice in the
health care system and ensuring the fair distribution of health resources.
According to this physician charter, physicians should work actively to eliminate
discrimination in health care, whether based on race, sex, socioeconomic status,
ethnicity, religion, or any other social category.
Beltran RA. Affirmative Action in Medical School AdmissionsAffirmative Action in Medical School Admissions. JAMA. 2003;289(23):3084. doi:10.1001/jama.289.23.3084-a