I really enjoyed the column on Moses Maimonides. I am a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at Maimonides Medical Center. I have been there for six years doing my internal medicine training and am now in my last year of fellowship. Although I knew in general who he was and have seen his picture in the corridors, I did not know about all of his humanitarian qualities. It is amazing to see that almost 1,000 years ago how bright a man he was, how much time he devoted to his patients, and the incredible code of behavior he wrote describing the eight levels of charity.
Thanks to Dr. Simone for writing this most interesting article. We can all learn from Moses Maimonides how to be a better person as well as a better physician.
Ian Hantman, MD
Maimonides Medical Center
Reply from Dr. Simone:
Thank you for your note. It seems that the idea of a virtuous, dedicated, and learned physician never goes out of style. That is not to say that all physicians behave that way, but as long as that way of practicing is recognized and defended as ideal, the profession will survive. If and when that ideal is discarded for practices that view success largely in monetary terms, the medical profession will have become a medical business and will no longer be a profession. Models like Maimonides serve to remind us of the responsibility that is embedded in the privilege of being a physician.