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In 1999, when I was starting my last year of medical school, I heard about an essay contest held by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. This organization exists to promote humanism within the field of medicine, a worthy endeavor. Each year they hold a Humanism in Medicine Essay Contest for medical students. That year, participants were asked to write about what characteristics define the "good" doctor.

To read my entry entitled The "Good" Doctor on their website:
  1. Go to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation website
  2. Click on The Big Picture
  3. Click on Humanism Library (second link that pops up under The Big Picture)
  4. Click above Select by Message Number
  5. Scroll down to Message #755
  6. Click search
To read more about their essay contest and recent winners:
  1. Go to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation website
  2. Click on Programs/Events
  3. Click on Essay Contest (second link that pops up under Programs/Events)
I did not win an award in the contest. Moreover, in the years since, I have come to disagree with some of what I wrote in this essay. I especially believe my views have changed regarding the second to last paragraph, in which I encourage doctors to simply make the best of a bad system. As my current interest in medical reform exhibits, I have come to see it as necessary to not only adapt to the current system, but to work to improve it. I think that my much more compromising position in this essay reflects just how strongly I was trying at that time to maintain a positive attitude, to ignore my strong feelings against the current medical system, and to fit into a medical culture in which I really didn't fit.

Dr. Howard Ditkoff is a personal coach, group/organizational/business consultant and trainer through his company, Emergent Associates, LLC, which shares its unique knowledge, understanding and tools to support health in human systems of all types. Howard helps people discover and develop their deepest talents and potentials, bringing greater satisfaction to all areas of their lives, ranging from health to career to relationships, while helping groups, organizations and businesses of all kinds achieve greater success. For more information, or to contact Howard about setting up a Free Introductory Consultation, visit Emergent Associates, LLC's Website or email him.

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