To serve selflessly our dying brothers and sisters who come into our care.
Whatever material success we doctors have achieved is not of our own design. Society has valued our services and agreed to compensate us well for our efforts on its behalf. Have we lived up to our end of the bargain? I have heard horror stories of how patients and families have been treated by physicians–not medically treated, but treated simply as human beings. I see colleagues who appear to be more concerned with personal income, status, and time off than with caring for patients–entire health care systems more focused on “the bottom line.” Is the current assault on physician compensation and autonomy evidence that we have somehow failed to honor our end of the agreement?
from Dr. Walter Hunter’s 12 Imperatives for Working with the Dying