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In response to Dr Lacoursiere, I understand his position, but I believe he has misunderstood mine. I did not intend to imply that only "called" physicians treat drug and alcohol addiction. Certainly, this disease can cross any medical specialty or discipline and, consequently, must be taken into consideration by any physician who intends to do his job right. What I referred to in my address to our first-year students was that there are chosen physicians who deal with drug and alcohol problems as a separate entity, not as a complication of another disease. The internist or surgeon who neglects to notice a history of alcoholism in a patient with renal failure is simply an ineffective physician. He is as remiss as if he neglected to find out that the patient is diabetic. On the other hand, the physician who does take drug or alcoholism problems into account in
John Bernard Henry. To the Class of 1986-Reply. JAMA. 1983;250(11):1391. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340110015009