Altruism: A Story in Three Acts

As regulatory and technological forces increasingly impact bedside care, some clinical educators have raised the concern that altruism in medicine, one of the core pillars of the physician-patient relationship, if not dying, is at least threatened.1 Decreasing altruism may reflect the diminished empathy, compassion, and patient-centered care that accompany physician burnout, particularly among residents in graduate medical education programs.2 Over the past year, however, 3 acts of altruism occurred in the course of routine care by medical residents at Rhode Island Hospital.

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