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Web Letter

Despite a few debatable points--only journalistic license would describe the "disciplines of science and medicine" as "sacred" or imply that commercial pressures began permeating the field only during the 1920s, alas, the problem goes all the way back to Hippocrates as his Oath makes painfully clear; or her echo-chambering the WMD-redux hyperbolic, and totally unsubstantiated claims about "90,000 patients" killed every year because doctors are so lazy they don't bother washing their hands--Lizzy Ratner's review infuses the veins of the zeitgeist with much needed antibodies to resist the resurgent epidemic of MD Celebrity Laureates.

After reading Ratner's review, I'm looking forward to a future project where she will deploy her skills to further probe into the brave-but-not-so-new world of MDs morphing into media personalities plus staff writers for glossy scented magazines where they recycle all the opinions that the cool and beautiful people love to look at and hear.

Minor quibble. Rather disappointingly, she lets the second author of her review get away with blaming "today's dysfunctional medical culture" on the nineteenth century. Over a century separates us from the nineteenth century's doorstep, where so much blame and anger have been dumped: Isn't it time we postmoderns grow up and accept our responsibilities? Cringe-inducing cliché aside, such nineteenth-century-bashing is irrelevant to the fact that contemporary medicine is neither more, nor less "dysfunctional," whatever the term means, than the rest of the culture.

Thanks for a well-written review and kudos to The Nation for publishing it.

Another "white-coated" cog.

George Zotalis

Danville, PA

Jun 4 2007 - 8:10am

Web Letter

I lilked the review, but I would like the citation on 90,000 deaths annually from medical personnel not washing their hands.

Dr. James H. Willliams

Savannah, GA

May 28 2007 - 8:14am