This article attempts to characterize the appropriate role of doctors in relation to their patients. A guiding question is “What is the relation between the doctor’s role and the doctor’s professional ethics? Several authors have described the possible conflicts between role morality and common morality and have stressed the importance of the former. This article defends the idea that the appropriate attitude of doctors toward their patients is detached concern, which combines detachment and compassionate care, and represents the impersonal and personal aspects of a doctor’s role. The question of whether detached concern could ever work as an ethical prescription is also explored. The answer provided is that detached concern should function, not as a direct ethical prescription, but as an overarching attitudinal norm for medical professionals.