The Pursuit of Arete in Medicine and Health Care
The following reflective essay expounds on the need for a commitment to excellence in medicine and health care. The ancient Greeks' central ideal was arete, defined as excellence or virtue. Healthcare professionals driven to promote prevent and reverse disease, while respecting and enhancing the health of the whole person, are champions of arete in health care. The Byzantine hospital known as the Pantokrator Xenon, founded in 1136, is presented as an example of arete in health care. Lastly, the patient-provider relationship and compassionate, selfless love (agape) are described as the foundation of excellent health care.