Nordic health professionals often hear the term "the Nordic model" when visiting countries outside the Nordic area. This Nordic model is usually related to selected aspects like the doctor-patient-relationship, the structures and functions of the Nordic health systems, and the independent, nationwide control systems in the Nordic countries which deal with research ethics and integrity in research within the biomedical sciences. In this essay the concept of specifically Nordic characteristics within medicine and health services is evaluated through an observation window. The conclusion is that the most components of the Nordic health sectors, including education and research, are by their very nature global, but that their weighting and the projection to clinical work and research show decisive traits, especially related to patients' rights and ethics. On this background, it seems legitimate to accept the surrounding world's impression of a special Nordic model.