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Ann Intern Med. 2010 Aug 3;153(3):200-1. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-3-201008030-00011.

On humility.

Author information

  • Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-8335, USA. jcoulehan@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

Abstract

The new professionalism movement in medical education takes seriously the old medical virtues. Perhaps the most difficult virtue to understand and practice is humility, which seems out of place in a medical culture characterized by arrogance, assertiveness, and a sense of entitlement. Countercultural though it is, humility need not suggest weakness or lack of self-confidence. On the contrary, humility requires toughness and emotional resilience. Humility in medicine manifests itself as unflinching self-awareness; empathic openness to others; and a keen appreciation of, and gratitude for, the privilege of caring for sick persons. Justified pride in medicine's accomplishments should neither rule out nor diminish our humility as healers.

PMID:
20679563
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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