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November 1975

"The Doctor's Dilemma"

Author Affiliations

319 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115

Arch Surg. 1975;110(11):1425. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360170165026

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In the May 1975 edition of Harper's Magazine, Dr George Crile, Jr, has published an article, "The Doctor's Dilemma." In it he describes the problems that confront the surgeon when he is asked, or asks himself, to choose a simple operation over a more complicated one. The author contends that, even though the simpler procedure has been shown to be as effective, the greater surgical fee generated by the larger operation often influences the choice. There is thus a conflict of interest. He further states that even if this stimulus did not exist, the surgeon is prone to choose the complicated operation for another reason, Funktionlust, defined by Konrad Lorenz as the innate hunger of any professional to use to the utmost his or her highly developed skill.

Such are the discoveries that Dr Crile has chosen to release in the lay press. I found his statement of the problem,

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