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May 26, 1989

The Practice of Medicine

Author Affiliations

Knoxville, Tenn

Knoxville, Tenn

JAMA. 1989;261(20):2951. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420200041013

To the Editor. —  The defense by Dr Dandoy1 of her public health practice was stirring and, I suspect, accurate. I fear, however, she might have misunderstood the question: "Have you ever practiced medicine?"I suspect that when that question is asked the real questions are: "Have you ever experienced the frustrations of standing beside the bed of a dying patient knowing there is nothing more you can do?" "Have you had to tell the family of a patient that their loved one has just died?" "Do you drag yourself to the hospital in the middle of the night to provide emergency care to a patient you have never seen who presents with a critical illness?" "Have you been told by Blue Cross/Blue Shield that all of the above activities are unnecessary and unreasonable and that they have no intention of reimbursing you for them?" and "Have you become