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January 2013

Surgeons Leading Health Care Reform

JAMA Surg. 2013;148(1):7-8. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.620

Physicians have recently begun new initiatives for health care reform. But for this to live up to its promise, physicians must have a critical role in implementing quality guidelines, a task beyond the capacity of administrators without professional input. Politicians and the lay public trust their physicians, but they may be paradoxically suspicious of ceding national power to physicians, fearing a conflict of interest. Physicians from different specialties may be suspicious of each other. Moreover, many physicians are unwilling to take on national responsibility, figuring that running the system is someone else's job. None of these concerns is groundless, but reform is unstoppable and physicians are increasingly involved.