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Re: your story about GP John Paul Schulze's fight to regain his reputation after Humana subjected him to peer review ["Peer review gone awry: The bittersweet victory of Dr. Schulze," June 4]: I don't know how anyone with a conscience could orchestrate such a methodical, deliberate slandering and undermining of a well-respected physician. And all over a policy disagreement!
I'm very glad the courts ruled in Schulze's favor. Peer-review laws are absurd, and boards need to be held accountable for questionable actions.
John Fitzsimmons, MDjfitzsm1@cablespeed.com
The article could have done more to demonstrate that the jury award in the Schulze case did not vindicate his clinical care or documentation, but was directed at the breach of his right to due process. Peer review is process-intensive, and I hope no physicians become reluctant to serve on peer review panels because of this case.
I am no fan of HMOs and heavy-handed techniques, but had the review been done correctly, Schulze's clinical care and documentation standards could have been found substandard.
Alan Lembitz, MDLoveland, CO
After reading "Visions of death in the dentist's chair" [May 21], I have a suggestion for FP Karla Montague-Brown, who has been unable to muster the resolve to return to the dentist since her adverse reaction to Carbocaine dental anesthesia: Try hypnoanesthesia.
I get nearly all my dental work done under self-hypnosis. You can learn how to do this from a self-help text, although taking a class is much easier. My last dental experience was a piece of cake, thanks to hypnoanesthesia!
B.J. Bett, MDWoodbridge, VAbjnn@erols.com
I sympathize with Dr. Montague-Brown. Upon waking from a long surgery, I needed to breathe consciously and felt like I was dying. There was a terrifying sense that if I did not will myself to breathe I would suffocate.
In retrospect, I suppose that I had been given a lot of morphine and that I, like Dr. Montague-Brown, had some suppression of autonomic respiratory function. After reading her description, I've become convinced that this should be described as a distinct syndrome.
Ward R. Anthony, MDBoulder, CObetward@hotmail.com
The item in your June 4 Money Management column about excluding part of a home sale gain from tax contained an error. You correctly calculated the exclusion ratio as 60 percent, but mistakenly applied it to a married couple's $20,000 profit, leaving a taxable gain of $8,000. Actually, the couple is entitled to 60 percent of the full $500,000 exclusion, or $300,000. Since that's greater than their $20,000 gain, all of it is tax-free.
Clarice M. Goldberg, CPA
"Interest rates have tumbled. Refinance your home loan?" [June 18], states that the equity in your home needs to be 80 percent to eliminate private mortgage insurance. In fact, equity needs to be only 20 percent.
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