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July 7, 1989

The Art of Pimping

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (Pa).

From the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (Pa).

JAMA. 1989;262(1):89-90. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430010101039

IT'S HARD work becoming a revered attending physician in a university hospital. The task daunts the newly appointed junior attending as he strides down the corridor of his first ward with his first team. Oh, he's made some changes in anticipation of his new position. He's wearing a long coat now, an all-cotton coat with razor-sharp creases and knit buttons. The stained, shrunken polyester white pants and tennis shoes have given way to gray, light wool slacks with a cuff and polished loafers. Framed certificates bear testimony to his intelligence and determination. He should be ready to take the helm of his ward team, but he's not. Something's missing, something important, something closer to art than to science. When physicians talk about the "art of medicine" they usually mean healing, or coping with uncertainty, or calculating their federal income taxes. But there's one art this new attending needs to learn

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