Some complex concepts are better caught than taught. Professionalism in Medicine is an acquired demeanor perceived by patients, their families, health care workers, and trainees to indicate that the physician has commitment to the needs of the patient, clinical competence, compassion, integrity, and self awareness (1-3). Each of these attributes have their roots in qualities of the exemplary physician: excellence and compassion.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
The rational mind is a faithful servant
We honor the servant
And have forgotten the gift.
– A. Einstein
SCIENCE: During a 50 year career in Academic Medicine, I used the scientific method of inquiry to investigate the pathophysiology and treatment of disease. Science is the evidence based generation of knowledge. Using reproducible accurate measurements, scientists formulate hypothetical explanations of phenomena, and then we conduct experiments to falsify each hypothesis. Those explanations that could not be falsified are the truth. We go to this trouble to avoid the errors arising from people’s tendencies to observe what they expect. But the scientific method is slow and tedious, has little to say about subjective phenomena of great interest, and the requisite controls for each intervention can obscure the question under study 1,2.
If a higher power wants to tell us how the Cosmos works, scientists would be wise to learn how to listen to god’s voice. In my memoir Science, Belief, Intuition1, I describe how a person can pursue a productive career as a clinician scientist while cultivating a spiritual relationship. Yet many scientists act as if science and spirituality are antagonistic, so they must choose between them². Some of those choosing science feel the need to discredit spirituality as if it’s existence threatens science or reason, when what it threatens is materialism as a doctrinal world view3.