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September 23/30, 1998

The Ungifted Physician

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

To the Editor.—Dr Koven1 makes some poignant as well as humorous points. But her main conclusion—that patients no longer bestow gifts on physicians because of their "familiarity" as supposed "social peers"—is delusive. How many patients anymore have a long-term, in-depth relationship with any one physician? The reality for thousands of us is utter lack of familiarity. Moreover, our classist society still has a long way to go before most physicians consider patients their "social peers."