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November 13, 1991

Redeeming Comic Value?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Williamsport (Va) Hospital and Medical Center

Williamsport (Va) Hospital and Medical Center

JAMA. 1991;266(18):2562-2563. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470180062036

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In Reply.  —An unexpected benefit of writing the aforementioned article has been the delightful and interesting responses, verbal and written, that it has elicited and that have renewed my appreciation for the ability of practitioners of a profession as inherently serious as medicine to still find humor in their professional lives.What Dr Temianka may have been too offended to notice is that my article did have a serious purpose, which was to point out the absurdity of a system that really does reward institutions for doing as little as possible for their patients. It was also, among other things, an attempt to show how pecuniary considerations can so distort the relationship between physicians and hospital administrators that ridiculous consequences may follow. My hope in writing it was that it might give just a little encouragement to people who are trying to think of less simplistic and more sophisticated and