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May 26, 1999

Care of Prison Inmates by Impaired Disciplined Physicians

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(20):1889-1891. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-20-jbk0526

To the Editor: For the most part, the facts in the article about prison deaths and medical licensing boards by Mr Skolnick1 are accurate. However, we are concerned with the article's lack of balance, especially as it was published in a physician-directed and physician-edited journal. This lack of balance was compounded by a local (Birmingham) news program that took the article and expanded it to question the qualifications of all Alabama physicians, not just those practicing in prisons. Obviously, this kind of negative press counters our ability as an association to promote a positive image both to the public and to the physician community where we are working hard to retain and recruit members. In our opinion, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners did its due diligence in Dr Williams' licensing, which included significant restrictions, and the Board continues its diligence as it receives regular reports from his peers, the Department of Corrections, and his employer, Correctional Medical Services (CMS).

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