April 15, 1988

Caring for the Poor

Author Affiliations

Maryland Heights, Mo

Maryland Heights, Mo

JAMA. 1988;259(15):2236-2237. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720150018014

To the Editor.  —I read with disgust the editorial by Dr Lundberg and Mr Bodine1 and the article by Dr Hilfiker2 in a recent JAMA issue about how physicians should be donating their services to the poor and homeless. You say that in medicine today there is "the obligation to serve the poor without pay," that "health professionals should fulfill their social responsibility for delivering high quality health care to those without the resources to pay," and that physicians "should contribute a significant percentage of their total professional efforts without expectation of financial remuneration." Let me tell you, buddy, I don't do anything in this business without financial remuneration. And if you don't think medicine today is a business (and judging from your quote about the difference between a business and a profession, you don't), maybe somebody ought to point out to you that the current American Medical