Virtues-based advice for beginning medical students

Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Feb;111(2 Pt 1):427-30. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181612774.


Objective: The goals of this article are to present a framework, based on John Gregory's (1724-1773) concept of professionalism, for advising beginning medical students about what is important to training and to the practice of medicine.

Method: The author presents Gregory's concept of professionalism with an emphasis on the related virtues. Members of the editorial board of Academic Psychiatry were also surveyed for their advice for beginning students.

Results: There are four fundamental virtues that originated from Gregory's concept of professionalism: integrity, compassion, self-effacement, and self-sacrifice. Medical students should actively cultivate these virtues to promote excellence in every clinical encounter.

Conclusion: These four fundamental virtues together obligate medical students to learn and practice in accordance with the principles of evidence-based medicine and to protect and promote the interests of patients.