Temporary matters. The ethical consequences of transient social relationships in medical training

JAMA. 1997 Sep 3;278(9):739-43. doi: 10.1001/jama.278.9.739.


Medical students and resident physicians spend much of their training engaged in transient, time-limited relationships with patients, families, and other care providers. This article offers a partial catalog of the problems that the evanescent nature of trainees' relationships with others creates in their lives, the strategies they often use to address these problems, and the deleterious consequences these strategies may have on their behavior and ethical development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship / standards*
  • Disclosure
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Moral Development
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Resource Allocation
  • Social Values
  • Students, Medical
  • Trust
  • United States