Superhero-style dedication not the only way to practice good medicine

LETTER — Posted March 8, 2004

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To those doctors who came before me I say: You are right. I am less hardworking and dedicated to medicine than you are (Article, Feb. 2).

I finished residency in 1994. I am not available to my patients at all hours. I do not practice obstetrics. I do not accept frequent call and after-hours responsibilities.

All of us in medicine owe a debt to our predecessors and to society for supporting medical education. We all pay differently. For some it is simply to provide good service and compassionate care. Others work the late shifts and take lots of phone calls. Some superheroes do it all. (God help the spouses and families of the superheroes.) We all have strengths and weaknesses; let's support each other and strive for our best as a team.

Anne Cooper, MD, Austin, Texas

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/03/08/edlt0308.htm.

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