Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: In his A Piece of My Mind article1
about "the system of no-system," Dr Ferrer describes his experiences in caring
for uninsured patients.
I have read these sorts of articles by different authors at different
times and over many years. They all start off with graphic and horrendous
clinical cases, tell of the "bad" private physicians who abandoned their poor
patients on the doorstep of the overworked emergency department physician,
and discuss the totally chaotic system ("no system") that makes sure the patients
do not receive adequate treatment. We readers then feel guilty, question our
commitment to our professional oath, and vow to work harder to make things
right. Since most every physician I know has, at one time or another, been
in Ferrer's overwhelmed shoes, we all sympathize.
Knoll III JL. Poverty and Responsibility for Health Care. JAMA. 2002;287(8):988-989. doi:10.1001/jama.287.8.983