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September NaN, 1998

The Ungifted Physician—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(12):1051-1052. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-12-jbk0923

In Reply.—I have been fascinated by the responses I have received to "The Ungifted Physician," including letters from a physician in his 80s who still receives bottles of scotch from patients, an old World War II buddy of my father's who asked that his regards be sent along, and a colleague (whose father was also a physician) who confessed to a pang of disappointment every December.

I heartily agree with Dr Courtney's conclusion that patients' thanks are the best gifts of all. Dr Knatterud's frustration with the fragmented care provided by HMOs is shared by many physicians who would, if they could, have the sense of connection and community with their patients that Dr Rudick has achieved. I hope we will one day find a way to practice high-quality, cost-effective medicine that also inspires holiday greeting cards.

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