Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: I agree with Dr Christie and
colleagues1 that self-prescribing antibiotics may be a
problem and actually have potential negative health effects for the
physician/patient, given that antibiotics are overprescribed for
patients even when the physician is not the patient.
However, I am concerned with the overall tone of the article, which
almost conveys a sense of immorality on the part of the responsible
physician with health problems. For example, if an experienced
internist cannot look at a simple lipid profile and make a
determination, based on what he or she knows of the patient's
lifestyle and diet, whether medical therapy would be appropriate, then
what business does he or she have seeing patients with this problem? If
the physician has hyperlipidemia, what objectivity is lost in looking
at a simple laboratory report?
Vatcher D. Self-prescribing by Physicians. JAMA. 1999;281(16):1488-1490. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-16-jbk0428