MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 7

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Editor's Response:

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Thank you for taking the time
to respond to my editorial. Your
feedback is both welcome and
appreciated. While I understand and
share your concern that physicians
not waste time turning on one
another, I'm afraid you may have
missed the larger point. Specifically,
the medical profession, traditionally
given the freedom to self-regulate,
has seen that privilege become
eroded over time. The right of doctors
to police themselves is not one that
medicine can continue to take for
granted. However we may feel about
whether or not non-physicians are
qualified to judge medical practice,
the fact is that we are being judged,
and often by those who are not our
peers. My article was not to meant
to paint the profession in a bad
light, but rather to demonstrate that
medicine does not need any more
oversight.
This viewpoint is meant to
both reassure the public that we are
following our own ethics and to push
back against those who feel that
the problem with medicine is that
physicians aren't regulated enough.
Those individuals exist, and some of
them are in positions of substantial
political and economic power. Given
the historical ability of anecdote to
sway public opinion, it is vital that
not even one misbehaving physician
seek shelter behind a 'white coat
wall,' lest we all fall under the yoke of
perhaps a well-intentioned but more
likely misguided maze of further
requirements, rules and regulations,
all in the name of 'protecting the
public.' The situation is similar, in my
opinion, to the arguments around
tort reform. While progress has
been made, the ultimate holy grail,
a national cap on non-economic
damages, is unlikely to ever occur.
Why? Because the trial bar has the
one asset that can never be countered:
victims. When the media runs a story

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about a 'bad doctor,' it taints us all. Unfair, but
unlikely to change.
While rare, the amount of attention
those stories generate conflate what is
percentage-wise a tiny fraction of doctors
into the perception of something much,
much larger. It is incumbent upon physicians,
the stewards of our profession, to maintain
control of our practice and our ethics. And
there is no better way of accomplishing that

MCMS PHYSICIAN 7 WINTER 2017

task than showing we are unafraid to
confront a misbehaving colleague. It is a
tough thing to write about (and I'm sure
an even tougher thing to face), but the
cost of doing nothing is simply too high.
Sincerely,
Jay E. Rothkopf, MD
Editor, MCMS Physician


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MCMS Physician Winter 2017

MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 1
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 2
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 3
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 4
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 5
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 6
MCMS Physician Winter 2017 - 7
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