Declining altruism in medicine

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7350.1398/a (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1398

Good service is voluntary

  1. Kevin Fleming, staff internist. (fleming.kevin@mayo.edu)
  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
  2. Dalhousie University Department of Medicine, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 2Y9

    EDITOR—In his editorial Jones described the decline of altruism in medicine.1 As Claire Luce Booth—a congresswoman, ambassador, playwright, socialite, and wife of American magazine magnate Henry R Luce—noted, “No good deed goes unpunished.”2 Business authors have described that individuals in the employ of service industries (such as medicine) have two levels of service to offer. The most basic level of service is the performance of specified duties only, just enough to …

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