Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I have struggled to accept the logic of Dr. Huddle,1,2 and in the setting of a formal debating contest, I concede that he can hold his own. But we physicians are not debaters, lawyers, or sophists. A rising tide of poverty and misery sweeps over our country, leaving in its wake a permanent underclass. Our political leaders refuse to find common ground; their current policies are already harming many of our patients. If we leave our politics at home when we don our white coats, we are complicit—and our failure to stand taller as a profession is neither “a legitimate choice”2 nor the correct one. We can hide behind “our political prerogative as citizens,”2 or we can heed the words of Martin Luther King: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.”3 The question, really, is not whether physicians should be advocates but, rather, how can they be more effective advocates?
Stephen Sandroni, MD
Professor of medicine and college master, Paul L.
Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas;
1. Huddle TS. Perspective: Medical professionalism and medical education should not involve commitments to public advocacy. Acad Med. 2011;86:378–383.
2. Huddle TS. In reply. Acad Med. 2011;86:1065.