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November 1994

Are Dermatologists Greedy?

Author Affiliations

2233 DeVille Street Atlanta, GA 30345

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(11):1449-1450. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690110118024

I read with great interest the article by Crawshaw1 in the February 1994 issue of the Archives about physicians who manipulate the system to generate huge incomes. However, financial success in medicine does not equate with greed any more than financial success in any other endeavor. The author's attempt to define greed on the basis of number of acquisitions or level of income is destined to be unsuccessful. The analogy to physicians' impairment with alcohol brought to mind a definition of alcoholism I heard in medical school: an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than you do whom you don't like. Perhaps a similar definition for greed could be utilized. I am afraid that any other definition may be found to be no more useful.

The key point that the author misses is that many professionals develop great wealth delivering services to people who pay for those services and