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As the rider of a Harley Davidson Sportster XLX, I was delighted by your Feb. 22 cover. I was less pleased with the cover article, "8 ways to escape your employer," which seemed to suggest that noncompete clauses were made to be broken.
Our multispecialty practice invests substantial time and money recruiting physicians for our rural community. In exchange for our support in establishing them in practice, we require a reasonable noncompete agreement. If a doctor prefers not to sign, he is free to set up his own officealso to furnish it himself, pay his own moving expenses, make his presence known to the community at his own expense, and wait without subsidy for his practice to produce cash flow. If he accepts the terms of the contract, we assume the obligation to help him get started.
Parties to a contract agree to exchange one valuable thing for another. Once the bargain is struck, the honorable course is to abide by it.
While I enjoyed pediatrician Shawn L. Ralston's humorous article, "How I cracked the CPT Codes" [Feb. 22], I'm afraid it could come back to haunt her. The fraud police could easily construe her joking as reckless disregard for federal coding regulations.
She makes the amusing observation that the most fitting diagnostic code for a child pasting his eyelids shut with Krazy Glue is "visual difficulty." With all due respect, a doctor who does not view the coding rulesas ridiculous as they arewith seriousness suffers from "visual difficulty." However, you can be sure the fraud police have 20/20 vision.
Brent Greenberg's story about the terrifying, sudden death of a patient ["The day I learned how to be a doctor," Mar. 8] held me at the edge of my chair. However, as compliance officer of a not-for-profit agency that fosters inclusion for people with developmental disabilities, I wish that an editor had found a substitute for the term "village idiot."
Greenberg used this name to berate himself for his inadequacy. Unfortunately, it conjures up a vision of all that we are trying so hard to combat.
I have been a subscriber to your magazine for many years and read your articles on physician compensation with interest. Can you tell me whether compensation includes health insurance, CME, and similar benefits?
James Chow, MD
New York City
Editor's note: In all articles that present findings from our Medical Economics Continuing Survey, compensation includes salary, bonuses, and retirement set-asides only. However, authors of nonsurvey articles may use different criteria to determine compensation. Check the footnotes or charts for definitions of important terms such as compensation, gross income, net worth, etc.
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Letters to the Editors. Medical Economics 2002;10:8.