In 2018, the Department of Classics and the Health Professions Advising Program cosponsored a panel titled "What Is Your Purpose in a Health Professions Career? Ancient and Modern Ideas." The panel included Christopher Lops, M.D. '03, Erin Teeple, M.D., and Calloway Scott, Ph.D., and was moderated by Tom Martin, professor of classics.
What is the purpose of a Health Profession? What in fact is a health profession? What should health professionals — and those whom they strive to help — see as the overarching goal of medical treatment? Certainly it means identifying and trying to alleviate immediate suffering, but does it also involve more? That is, to what extent should health professionals be thinking about helping their patients achieve long-term wellness in addition to cures for their present medical problems? Can these goals be pursued simultaneously by all health professionals, or should they be the responsibilities of different health professionals?
This debate began in ancient medical practice and continues to this very day among modern health professionals. Three specialists, a scholar of ancient medicine and two MDs, offered perspectives on these enduring questions and welcomed questions and observations from the audience in an open discussion.