A shortage would restore physicians to the position they deserve

LETTER — Posted April 18, 2005

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Regarding "Physician shortage? Push is on for more medical students"(Article, March 14): Why would anyone in their right mind want to go into medicine now? Until something is done to corral the HMO and government administrators (who are expensive and time-consuming annoyances); until the pay for family practice and general practice doctors is made equal to that of general pediatricians and general internists; until there are special courts for malpractice complaints instead of the current lawyer-stealing-from-doctor tort system; and until we aren't having to cope daily with the tragic stories of people who cannot afford medications and of people who are being dumped off insurance when they are sick, I'm advising my bright young patients to look elsewhere for an occupation.

I think we should be allowed to become a rare commodity. Maybe then we will be paid enough and respected enough to make the profession worth doing again.

Ann Ewalt Hamilton, MD, Riverside, Calif.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/18/edlt0418.htm.

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