One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended major changes to medical education, an international panel has released a vision of medical education for the 21st century. Two major features of this detailed report that were not adequately articulated or developed were (1) the values that underpin care of individual patients and how these could be sustained and promoted, and (2) the values required to promote global health at a time when health disparities are widening. After reviewing the timeless scientific and humanistic foundations of clinical medicine that are essential for the care of individuals, we consider the role of virtue both in relation to individual patient care and in promoting an ethical framework for population health within a cosmopolitan global health perspective, and suggest that many organs of society should contribute to promoting such progress.