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Commentary on ‘Wearing humanism on your sleeve
  1. Shimon M Glick
  1. Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Shimon M Glick, Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel; gshimon{at}bgu.ac.il

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I was deeply moved and inspired by Jason Dubroff’s article1 objecting to the source of the white coat distributed to the entering medical students at his school. The article stimulated me to ponder its implications and led to some thoughtful discussions with colleagues.

Here was a busy medical student who was appropriately disturbed at what he regarded as a kind of ethical failure at the very ceremony, which was meant to exemplify and emphasise the values of humanism. However, unlike many of us who notice evidence of ethical insensitivity, react with a sigh or a comment, and go on with our lives without significant alteration in our normal activities, Jason initiated an investigation of the issue, researched it in his own time, and even proposed remedial actions—a remarkable, unusual and impressive course of events.

His article reinforced some of my personal prejudices. To those of my colleagues who nostalgically bewail the alleged decrease in idealism in today’s entering medical students, I can point to Jason as an example of the kind of ethical sensitivity, …

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