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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013:152-6. doi: 10.1200/EdBook_AM.2013.33.152.

Professionalism in global, personalized cancer care: restoring authenticity and integrity.

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  • 1From the Department of Medicine, New York University Medical School, New York, NY.

Abstract

Personalized medicine is revolutionizing cancer care and creating new expectations among oncologists and patients. At present the benefit is still marginal, however, and must be understood as incremental. In addition, cultural and resource disparities limit the sustainability of new cancer therapies on a global scale. Adequate instruments are needed to enable our exercise of sound and honest judgment in distinguishing breakthrough treatments from those that yield only marginal or doubtful improvements, and to develop strategies for formulation and correct application of balanced guidelines for sustainable cancer care. Professionalism requires that the acquisition of knowledge and skills go hand in hand with moral education in the intellectual virtues of humility, perseverance, adaptability, communicativeness, and commitment to resist self-deception or conflicts of interest. Hidden curricula undermine the moral values of medicine: these must be understood and uncovered. We should possess a special body of knowledge, skills, and values that allow us to change our practices when appropriate and to be stewards of society's limited resources through proper communication with our patients and families. In the era of personalized oncology and global issues of sustainability, professional authenticity and integrity in cancer clinical practice are key to bridging the gaps between true and false expectations of patients and the public.

PMID:
23714485
[PubMed - in process]
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