Medical students main motivation is to help people – yet

Authors: E. Křížová
Authors‘ workplace: Univerzita Karlova v Praze ;  2. lékařská fakulta ;  Ústav lékařské etiky a humanitních základů medicíny ;  Přednosta: PhDr. Ingrid Strobachová, PhD.
Published in: Prakt. Lék. 2016; 96(2): 88-90
Category: In diferent


The article reminds us of the collectivity or service orientation being the fundamental element of the professional medical role. Traditional wordings representing medicine as a helping and altruistic profession have been largely discredited. Medical ethos has continually transformed from the explicitly declared ideals to rather implicit moral contents. This, however, can lead to a further decrease of morally relevant imperatives in the framework of market society. The article presents empirical results of a survey among 1st year medical students. In their view, the main motivation why they opted for medicine was to help other people. Motivations oriented to self-interest and personal needs have also been widely present and we consider them as a visible counterbalance of altruistic motifs. The discussion is if medical altruism is sustainable in market societies and highly efficient health care systems.

medical profession – ethics – altruism – motivation


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