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The professional conflict and animosity that have developed between the legal and medical professions are symptomatic of something that is basic and disturbing to the traditional science and practice of medicine. Even a cursory review of the literature will reveal that physicians, lawyers, philosophers, and others (with greater or lesser degrees of insight and awareness) are currently engaged in serious reevaluations of such concepts as the definition of medicine as science and/or art, the structure and administration of effective medical curricula, and the goals of the medical profession itself. Such analyses require not only that physicians evaluate what they ought to be doing, a problem often relegated to economists, health planners, sociologists, and philosophers, but also that they evaluate what they are capable of doing. It is in defining this second kind of limitation that the traditional views of medical science, education, and profession, so carefully preserved and transmitted by physicians teaching and practicing at all levels, come into conflict with those of the legal profession. It is disconcerting that this redefinition of the medical profession is so little discussed by medical academics, and that a tradition-bound and possibly anachronistic definition of the medical profession, which ignores the substance of much of the contemporary debate, is so fundamental to medical education itself.

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Houston Law Review



First Page



Medical Malpractice Lawsuits



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