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November 1994

Are Dermatologists Greedy?

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(11):1448-1449. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690110118023

As much as I enjoyed Crawshaw's1 article on physician greed, I am sick and tired of hearing about ''bad apples'' in the medical profession. The ''bad apple'' philosophy presumes that while most physicians are ethical, there are a few among us who are morally impaired—the ''money grubbers,'' the ''greedy''—who constitute the problem and ''we'' have to figure out what to do with ''them.'' I suggest that these ''greedy'' few may be serving as scapegoats for the rest of us who are not particularly inclined to examine our own billing habits.

There are two points I want to make. First, I think that we should not confuse rich doctors with greedy ones. A high income is not the sine qua non of greed. If a physician owns five Porsches, I would not automatically condemn him. Believe it or not, some physicians deserve to be richly rewarded. As far as I