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June 26, 1991

Integrity in Health Care Institutions: Humane Environments for Teaching, Inquiry, and Healing

Author Affiliations

Boston (Mass) University Schools of Medicine and Public Health

Boston (Mass) University Schools of Medicine and Public Health


edited by Ruth Ellen Bulger and Stanley Joel Reiser, 180 pp, $27.50, ISBN 0-87745-300-4, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 1990.

JAMA. 1991;265(24):3315-3316. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240113041

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Rarely have I so enjoyed an edited collection of essays. Perhaps this is because I am an academic physician working within a large health care institution who is called upon to "teach, inquire, and heal." Or perhaps it is true that when you assemble nationally recognized and experienced physicians, administrators, scholars, teachers, and humanitarians and ask them to address a complex, vitally important, and inadequately explored subject, the results will be insightful and provocative.

The modern academic health care institution is the cornerstone of medical and public health teaching, research, patient care, and community service. Yet, what do academic health centers profess? What are their goals? What are their values, and what should be their mission? While there has been a great deal of focus on the roles, responsibility, and individual ethics of providers, there has been a paucity of scholarly analysis of the context and conflicts of institutional ethical,