In Reply: We support the idea expressed by Dr Walsh of shared sacrifice to meet the needs of a community of patients. We believe our systems view of professionalism addresses this notion by calling on physicians to go beyond their role as direct care providers to work with their colleagues to develop organizational and community supports to ensure access to care regardless of patients' ability to pay. Moreover, a systems view of professionalism establishes a responsibility for all physicians to advocate for public and organizational policy that expands access to care regardless of an individual patient's financial resources. By suggesting, for example, a broader mandate of professional responsibility than just providing emergent care, we hope to raise the collective responsiveness to the needs of the public.
Lesser CS, Levinson W, Lucey C. Conceptualizing Physician Professionalism—Reply. JAMA. 2011;305(14):1411-1413. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.427