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June 12, 1967

Ethical Implications of Professional Competency

JAMA. 1967;200(11):1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120240136054

There has been a great deal of publicity in the lay press in recent months about so-called incompetence of physicians in the United States. Most of these tirades have been written by obviously prejudiced and, indeed, often misinformed writers. It is probable, however, that this unfortunate publicity may result in adverse responses which could affect the relationship between physician and patient or the physician and the hospital chaplain. I recognize that the medical profession is doing a great deal in the form of postgraduate education, but I would appreciate your opinion of the fundamental aspects of professional competency regarding the ethical responsibilities of the physician. Does the physician's professional competency really enhance the cooperation between physician and clergyman?