How doctors can help heal divisions as well as diseases

Remember: Patients do not exist to provide careers to physicians; instead, physicians exist to care for patients

Medicine need not be confined to the role of cultural bellwether, a sheep with a bell on its neck that reveals where the whole flock is headed.

Doctor and baby

Along with other professions such as law, clergy and education, medicine can and should play the leadership role of a shepherd, helping our society to develop more thoughtful, balanced and generous approaches to the challenges that face us.

After all, the word doctor means teacher, and our culture needs the best instruction we can offer.