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On Being a Doctor |

Short Takes

John W. Burnside, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School; Dallas, TX 75235

Requests for Single Reprints: John W. Burnside, MD, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75235; e-mail, jburns@mednet.swmed.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2001;135(9):837-838. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-135-9-200111060-00014
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I have become a usual and customary physician. I didn't plan on it, and it happened without my paying much attention. Since I get paid the usual and customary fee, I must be a usual and customary doctor. Strange—I thought I was better than that. I thought that because of my experience and apparent success, at least as determined by the number of patients who want to see me but whom I must refuse, that I was better than average. I guess not. I thought, too, that when I referred my patients to surgeons that I was being careful to select the professionals who were the best for my patients—the ones with the most experience, the best results, and the best doctor–patient relationships. Then, I discovered that these surgeons, too, were just usual and customary. I guess there is no difference among doctors.




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