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December 15, 1989

The Doctor as Patient Advocate

JAMA. 1989;262(23):3269. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430230041011

To the Editor.—  The Journal continues to challenge the status quo and stimulate professional introspection. I have just read the commentary by Dr Moore1 entitled "The Need for a Patient Advocate." Never have I felt so offended by a colleague. As a senior medical resident, I have spent 7 challenging and rewarding years in an attempt to become a physician. What, may I ask, is any physician if not foremost a patient advocate? Am I naive?The profession of medicine is under siege on many fronts. I, too, share many of Dr Moore's concerns about the new conflicting roles that physicians are increasingly asked to play. It seems clear to me that only by the vigilant preservation of a patient advocacy role for all physicians will we ever weather the storm. When did we throw in the towel?