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January 5, 1979

Teaching Medical Ethics-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Chicago
Yale-New Haven Medical Center New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1979;241(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290270019006

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It is gratifying to see that a distinguished pathologist-administrator such as Dr McKee, far removed as he is from the problems of contemporary medical education and clinical medicine, should remain sufficiently interested in these problems to respond to our article and editorial. Dr McKee's letter is complex, but after considerable effort we think we have identified two of his major lines of criticism of our position.

First, throughout his letter Dr McKee appears to distinguish "real" physicians from "medical phonies, posing as doctors, who are not physicians." Although Dr McKee never clarifies this distinction, we presume he intends to differentiate the merely technically competent practitioner from the humanistically sensitive, ethical, reflective physician of the Oslerian stamp. We consider it unfortunate that Dr McKee fails to perceive that that is precisely our concern as well. We do not share Dr McKee's pessimism that the product of medical school selection