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January 8, 1992

Patients Leaving Emergency Departments Without Being Seen by a Physician-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Tennessee Memphis

JAMA. 1992;267(2):233-234. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020041020

In Reply.  —Several points are raised in these letters that require a response. It is ironic that funding for the National Health Service Corps Scholarship program has been curtailed at a time when the need for primary care practitioners in physician shortage areas is greater than ever. The alternative of paying a bonus, instituting debt forgiveness, or providing tax incentives to physicians who choose to locate in such areas is an intriguing concept that merits further consideration.As an active practitioner, I also fear "frivolous" lawsuits, but I have grave reservations about a system of arbitration or review that would be imposed only on the poor. If an approach to tort reform that is fair to patients and providers alike can be found, it should be applied to all.The shrinking number of primary care practitioners able or willing to provide care to the poor is clearly exacerbating our