Letters: Readers comment on Medical Economics stories

June 25, 2011

Letters discuss encounters with a rock legend and grocery store visits.

No regrets

I really enjoyed the article by Gregory A. Hood, MD, FACP ("What a rock star taught me about the practice of medicine," [From the Board], May 25 issue).

As a physician, rock concert-goer, and someone who is desperately trying not to regret spending too much time at the office when I lie on my deathbed, I could relate.

Rock on!

Thanks to Dr. Hood for his reflections on an enviable encounter with rock legend Roger Daltrey!

It recalled fond memories of the Rush concert I attended last summer. Like Dr. Hood, I was struck with the "relaxed happiness" of the rock performers. They look like they're having fun, and they make it fun for their listeners.

Rush has had the same band members for more than 30 years. The camaraderie and instinctive and innovative teamwork that results in a joyous, well-executed concert is something we can strive toward in our medical work environments.

We also can learn from the fortitude of the older rockers. Former Who members may be eligible for Medicare, and the Rush trio is in their late 50s!

Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, endured the tragic deaths of his daughter and wife within a year of each other in the late 1990s, yet he came back with strength and creativity soon after. He has multiple outside interests: he is an avid reader; he has written his own poignant and fascinating books; and he enjoys travel, photography, and motorcycling between tour dates. These passions, plus the support of friends, family, fans, and "the guys at work" helped him through his dark days.

With less traumatic but still stressful changes in medicine, we can draw "life lessons," as Dr. Hood does, from our own inspirational encounters.

There is more to life than work; yet, while we are working, we need to focus on the moment and convey a sense of fun!

To patients who are worried and hurting, we are "rock stars"-authorities and mini-celebrities. If we can give them a good experience and personal connection without grumbling, they are more likely to be inspired by us and motivated to do their own work to stay well or to heal.

Thanks again to Dr. Hood for sharing his story, awesome photo, and important points to ponder!

ELIZABETH A. PECTOR, MD, FAAFP
Naperville, Illinois

Set a good example

I have been practicing in the same town for 25 years, and I've been jogging in town for the same amount of time. Patients definitely pay attention and often comment about seeing me alongside the road.

So, I had to laugh, in a good way, about the article by Antoinette Cheney, DO ("Practicing what you preach," March 10 issue), concerning groceries in the cart.

I visit the grocery store (always for 10 items or less) with my hair messed up and jeans on. Patients always recognize me and apologize for what's in their grocery cart. The fattening and unhealthy items always are for someone else.

Setting a good example is healthy, but I really do not want anyone to scrutinize what might be in my cart. And, to be honest with you, I really do not care what's in their cart-that really is their personal business and none of mine.

Besides, it might really be for someone else-there are two sides to every story!

DAVID MCCLURE, MD
Bel Air, MD

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