A New Era of Professionalism

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Photo courtesy of Sunny Ng, Unsplash

In science, technology, and social history individual courage often changes the world. Hannah Arendt, in The Meaning of Revolution, says that a revolutionary spirit is not defined as the action of a people, but rather as the well-sustained thought by individuals that a concept is right [1]. Educating the general public about health-related issues should be inspired by this idea because of two universal concepts; the first is that of the democratization of knowledge. The second is that of the open dissemination of information and technology. Both are made possible as a result of web-based learning, interactive informational systems, affordable access to artificial intelligence, and the widespread use of social media.

A new era of professionalism means saying goodbye to antiquated and often coerced acceptance of conventional wisdom. Medical knowledge is no longer only the property of medical practitioners [2], and the divide between doctors and the nonmedical public is increasingly small. In a new era of professionalism, the almost instantaneous and frequently open access to information has the advantage of rapidly enhancing knowledge, initiating change, and inspiring confidence. Codependencies between those who know and those who wish to know are intertwined, such that each may actually learn from the other. Never has this been more important than during the COVID AGE.

Having knowledge, of course, is much more than having access to information. Technology might allow its dissemination to transcend national boundaries, but trust, reliability, and understanding are necessary to change behaviors and implement fresh ideas. These last months, the world has been threatened by an invisible virus and the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on preexisting global inequalities. They are financial, intellectual, racial, gender-related, political, class-structured, communication-related, environmental, and cultural. In such instances, when more than individual and public health are threatened, all health care professionals have a responsibility to voice their concerns, to be able to justify their opinions based on the best possible science, and to take on the mantel of leadership when the need arises.


  1. Arendt H. On Revolution. Penguin Books, edition (from original Viking Press, 1963). New York, pg 46-47. link
  2. Foucault M. Birth of the clinic: an archeology of medical perception. Vintage Books Edition, 1994, New York, pg54-55. link