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October 2013

Maintaining Professionalism as a Physician Is Not a Small Task

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(10):995. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.4698

The following is an abbreviated version of a presentation I made as the guest of honor of the Triological Society Southern Section Meeting this past January 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. I thank Mickey Stewart, MD, the editor of Laryngoscope, for permitting me to publish it in our journal, and I thank those of you who requested I share it with our readership.

As I review the growth of medicine in general and our specialty in particular during my 30-plus-year career, I am amazed at the progress we have made. It is hard to believe the first computed tomography scan and myocutaneous flap were introduced during my chief residency year! Within our specialty, we have become preeminent in facial plastic surgery, endoscopic surgery, head and neck surgery, and neurotology, but unfortunately, there have been developments that are not so salutary for medicine as a whole. It is impossible not to be concerned about the unrelenting changes that have permeated the practice of medicine. I would like to briefly share with you some of the principles I feel are necessary for us to maintain medical excellence and professionalism despite the external efforts to diminish physician independence, the physician-patient relationship, and other factors that initially attracted most of us to become physicians.

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