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World Association of International Studies

Post Physicians and Political Participation
Created by John Eipper on 09/06/11 1:01 PM

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Physicians and Political Participation (Henry Levin, USA, 09/06/11 1:01 pm)

Physician participation can take many forms, including self-serving ones. Read the article in the NY Times this morning (6 September) about the Congresswoman who is supported by the industry of renal specialists and nephrology who got the federal government to approve a practice in Las Vegas of kidney transplants that failed and a corporate chain of dialysis providers, all deeply involved with her multi-millionaire husband.

Are we talking about societal interests or self-interests in the Rodolfo Neirotti posting (6 September) that calls for a more active role of physicians in the political, social, and economic aspects of society? Indeed, how does that profession divide in terms of policies to increase its own wealth and influence versus what is good policy for America? How many physicians assume that there is no difference between the two?

JE comments:  A vital question:  altruism or self-interest?  Physicians are probably like most other professionals (WAISer physicians excepted, of course!), with the majority being somewhere in the middle.

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  • Physicians and Political Participation (Rodolfo Neirotti, USA 09/07/11 2:26 PM)

    Henry Levin asked on 6 September:
    “Are we talking about societal interests or self-interests that calls for a more active role of physicians in the political, social, and economic aspects of society?”

    In my posting of 6 September, and admitting that it can be an oxymoron, I was referring to the participation needed to arrive to a good policy for America and the providers, that allows an affordable and accessible health care.

    I do agree with Prof. Levin that self-interest is probably dominant, to the point that for some time I have being considering writing an essay on “Transparency in the medical profession.” Unfortunately, I also agree with our editor that corruption, a pathology of society that has no medical treatment, is gradually expanding in multiple directions, affecting the sequence good citizens→ good politicians→ good governance.

    JE comments:  We have a number of distinguished WAISer physicians; Drs. Neirotti, Pitlick and Gardner come to mind.  Without asking for a lengthy essay, I'd love to hear their thoughts on "transparency in the medical profession."

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