The good doctor around the world

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 28 September 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:700
  1. Helen Lambert, senior lecturer in medical anthropology
  1. Department of Social Medicine, Bristol University, Bristol

    What do medical traditions around the world have to say about the necessary qualities of the “good doctor”? Two Sanskrit texts that form the basis of ayurveda (the Indian Hindu medical tradition) state that students embarking on an apprenticeship to become a vaidya (an ayurvedic physician), must vow to respect patients and be abstemious, modest, courteous, and self controlled. They must also make a concern for the health of sick people their sole aim. In textual sources for unani tibb, the Graeco-Arabic medical tradition practised in South Asia, ideal qualities of the hakim (an unani physician) include compassion, restraint, …

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