Entrenched ideals...are hard to break

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Does "Entrenched ideals...are hard to break" refer to "ideals (ultimate goals) that are firmly established are hard to break"? The problem is, such goals are abstract, yet the author likens it as "muschling through long hours/doing difficult task for long hours at the expense of sufficient sleep" - this example is too concrete to compare to the former (the ideal is in the form of being abstract).

Yet to some in the medical community, the problem is far more fundamental than “burnout.” Pam Wible doesn’t even like the term, since it puts the burden on physicians, as if they just have to find a way to cope. The family practitioner from Eugene, Ore., sees it all starting in medical schools. Entrenched ideals, like muscling through long hours on little sleep, are hard to break.
-Scientific American

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  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    An "ideal" here is associated with perfection, and "muscling through long hours on little sleep" is given as one example. The perfect doctor should be able to do this; at least, that is the firmly-established view.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Ideals is quite the wrong word to use there anyway. What’s meant is entrenched attitudes — seeing it as a noble tradition for medical staff to work unhealthily long hours, instead of reassessing it as a danger to staff and patients alike.
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