Medical Professionalism in Society
To the Editor: The article by Wynia et al. (Nov. 18 issue)1 is a praiseworthy attempt to describe comprehensively the emergence of medical professionalism, but it omits the important role of the government in defining and licensing the profession in a democratic society. Historically, society has attempted to assure its citizens of safe and effective medical care through the licensure of the profession. Beyond licensure, it has relied on the ethical values of the profession and its social contract with society to provide an adequate supply of physicians through medical education and training. Despite problems, this social contract has worked . . .