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How Character Traits Can Help Anesthesiologists: A Shared Experience From My Practice in Argentina

Published: September 1, 2022


Language: English


After 40 years as an anesthesiologist, I offer thoughts about 3 concepts I believe form the roots of a humanizing practice of anesthesia: (1) patients’ perioperative care decisions should include consideration of patients’ fundamental vulnerability, (2) prudence and justice help us avoid bad decisions, and (3) providing residents with moral resources helps them make good choices. Anesthesiology requires both virtue and responsibility, traits grounded in character and in scientific knowledge. The latter can be obtained and nurtured by means of intensive and continuous training. The former requires an intrinsic empathy for the welfare of others, even at the expense of one’s own self-well-being.