Professionals and Professions: A Philosophical Examination of an Ideal
Moline, Jon N.
Social Science and Medicine. 1986; 22(5): 501-508.
The term 'professional' is used with different meanings, sometimes as simply the opposite of 'amateur' but at other times in an honorific sense to suggest a calling in contrast to a job. Physicians, attorneys, and members of the clergy serve as paradigm professionals, but persons with other occupations may aspire to similar status. Moline explores the ideal of professionalism that has been present in Western society since the time of the Hippocratic Oath. As the Oath makes clear, professionals have relationships with their patients or clients, and they provide services of a personal nature. After discussing how physicians express this ideal in practice, Moline suggests that it is possible in almost any occupation to express the spirit of the paradigm professional by putting the good of the weaker party over one's own interest, maintaining standards of strict confidentiality regarding personal information, and treating one's working relationships with others as fiduciary. (KIE abstract)
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