Letters to the Editors

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Does medical practice have to be fun?

Virtually all the physicians interviewed for "Which doctors are quitting medicine?" [Dec. 9] chose retirement because their jobs were no longer fun. I take exception to such doctors. They trivialize what physicians do and the economic reality that most working people face.

I'd sympathize more with someone who retires because of exhaustion, fear of making mistakes, or worry about the effect of long work hours on a marriage. It must be nice to have the economic security to retire because work is no longer fun.

Raymond A. Moeller, M.D. Olympia, Wash.

After reading your cover story about my retired colleagues and me, I wondered whether you should have titled the piece, "Witch doctors are quitting medicine." Donald A. Fuesler, M.D. Longview, Wash.

You may have underestimated the number of physicians who will retire when they realize their potential in unrelated fields of endeavor.

In my new business as an Amway distributor, I'm associated with a podiatrist, a nephrologist, a plastic surgeon, a neurologist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, an ENT specialist, two general surgeons, and three FPs. We're all working toward the same goal-to have in two years an increasing residual, lifetime income that will exceed our previous six-figure incomes. The joke among us is that we've all joined the AMA-the Amway Medical Association.

Alfred G. Vasta Sr., M.D. Quakertown, Pa.

Both FFS and managed care can deliver bad medicine

Robert Raker writes that "managed care is illegal, immoral, and bad medicine" [Letters to the Editors, Nov. 25]. He ought to realize that the "bad medicine" genie is within each of us, and it can come out if we put our interests before our patients'.

Managed-care physicians who deny their patients the best care are no different from fee-for-service doctors who maximize their income by doing unnecessary procedures. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "Our faults lie not within our practice setting, but within ourselves."

Sylvan Cohen, M.D. Woodland Hills, Calif

A good, affordable education is around the corner

Your review of options for financing a college education missed one important alternative-local colleges ["College expenses: All the horror stories you hear are true. But. . " Nov. 11] .

It disturbs me to hear doctors complain about how hard they have to work to fund their children's education. But when I ask where their kids go to college, the schools are usually in another state and bear a fashionable name. When I ask my colleagues why their children chose a particular school, they say the kids wanted to go there not, for academic specialization, but for social prestige.

I have a successful OBG practice and don't feel pressured to overwork myself to finance my children's luxurious existence at a posh university. I told my seven kids that they'll need to live at home if they expect me to pay for college. I don't feel guilty about denying them the experience of living independently.

I went to a Midwestern state university within commuting distance from home, and didn't have trouble qualifying for top graduate and medical schools. …