I, like you, am not content to sit idly by while our profession and country is sold down the river. I think you’ll be interested in a story that I have to tell you, as it is a perfect example of why we are losing control.
I ran for the State House of Representatives in 1994 against four lawyers, two teachers, and two storeowners. I attempted to gain support of the physicians in my area by writing letters to state and county medical societies. I never received a response from the state medical liaison officer, but the head of a county society informed me that they don’t get involved in “political matters.” There will always be people of that caliber regardless of how fast the ship is sinking. Apparently, most members are all bark and not bite and don’t possess the intestinal fortitude to get off their gluteal muscles and do something about our deteriorating system.
You are entirely correct that we are in deep trouble and are losing control of our most honored profession and the innate responsibility to maintain a patient-physician relationship. One of the things that keeps me going is the fact that we do have people like you and members of AAPS who seem to understand the implications of allowing others to control our respective practices. Unfortunately, medicine is full of those who seek to follow. Ultimately, it will be left up to people who are used to fending for themselves and accepting responsibility, to save the profession — and the country.
Ken G. Knott, MD
I must sadly admit I am not surprised by the response (viz, general apathy) you received from other physicians in organized medicine. Unfortunately, many physicians are totally disenchanted wile others, particularly the purported leaders of organized medicine, are more preoccupied with projected image and empty rhetoric than with principles and substance, partly due to the fact they are not aware of medical history and have misunderstood the meaning of medical ethics. In a way, they are not only afflicted with vanity (e.g., it’s below their dignity to be political, even in defending their patients’ rights), but paradoxically, some of them hold onto a monastic view of medical ethics (Vandals, pp. 294-299). — Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD