Marketing advice article desecrates the proper practice of medicine

LETTER — Posted March 6, 2006

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Regarding "Creating buzz: New approaches to marketing" (Article, Feb. 6):

I disagree with the content, intent and suggested practice of "marketing" one's practice reflected in your article.

Medicine is not a commodity, it is not a business and it ought not to be regarded in mere secular terms.

Medicine is a priesthood, and those of us privileged to enter its holy temple should take vows of service and altruism, above all.

The idea of promoting business in medicine and having a business model of advertising one's services is a desecration of what Sir William Osler taught.

In recent years, we have seen the lofty position of physicians eroded in American society.

I believe if a physician is knowledgeable and skillful, and combines those earned attributes with compassion and a spirit of service, advertising is not needed. People will flock to your door without the slick and ethically challenged manners your article suggests.

Let us not desecrate the holy house of medicine with commercial and cheap schemes.

Assad Meymandi, MD, PhD, Raleigh, N.C.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/03/06/edlt0306.htm.

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