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Special Millennium Article
January 2000

Values, Behavior, and Medical PracticeA Personal View

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Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(1):81-82. doi:10.1001/archderm.136.1.81

To thine own self be true—Polonius to Laertes, Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Arguably, significant aspects of the behavior of most physicians in practice have changed over the past decade or two. Written rules have all but vanished under a tide of litigation, and value-based unwritten rules have been sorely tested. Behavior that was previously almost inconceivable has become commonplace. Have the values of physicians also changed over those years, or has behavior changed without a corresponding change of values? If values have not changed, and such a significant change is unlikely, the incongruent behavior will almost certainly have added to our stress and dysequilibrium.

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