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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89-94

The bent twig of humanity and the physician as a serious man: How the thoughts of Isaiah Berlin and Simone de Beauvoir may explain the fracture of medical independence and practice in America

Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Thomas John Papadimos
410 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-5568.183331

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Physicians face many significant challenges in these times of new laws and regulations, new institutional alignments and consolidations, government oversight, and scarce resources (especially in regard to reimbursement and research). In the face of these challenges, the independence and autonomy of the medical community are threatened, especially that of Academic Health Centers. This situation is further exacerbated by the flight of physicians, in order to protect their livelihood, to large umbrella organizations (including universities) to which they now must provide or express some allegiance and conformity. The writings and thoughts of Isaiah Berlin and Simone de Beauvoir, noted 20th century philosophers, will be used to explain the evolution of society (using Berlin's view of nationalism) and of people (de Beauvoir's view of the serious man) in order to help interpret the 21st century fracture of medical independence and autonomy in America. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Practice Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-based Practice.

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