Joe Camel has checked out of the Hotel Ohio East. Across the street, the American Medical Association is glad to have him out of the neighborhood.
The AMA, one of the most vocal opponents of the Camel cigarettes spokesbeast, for almost five years watched his eight-story, brick-walled visage play pool or blow his saxophone within view of its downtown Chicago office building. A few weeks after announcing Joe Camel's retirement, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco replaced him on the wall with a sultry female model smoking a Camel.
Thomas Houston, who leads the AMA's anti-smoking efforts as director of preventive medicine, says the organization didn't "appreciate the arrogance and in-your-face attitude of RJR" advertising across the street. But R.J. Reynolds spokesman Richard Williams said the company put the sign in Chicago's busy Ohio Street corridor because it was "an excellent location to reach adult consumers."
Over the years, the AMA has fought the Joe Camel sign as if it were a nuclear waste dump. In 1993, it tried to buy space for an anti-Joe Camel ad on another building but was unsuccessful because it was controlled by the same advertising company that owns the Hotel Ohio East space. During its 1994 convention, the AMA considered itself foiled again when Joe Camel was covered in white paint two days before a rally at the ad site. A few days later, he reappeared.
However, Williams denies that R.J. Reynolds ever took the AMA's feelings into account with the placement of its Joe Camel ads. "Some people think they're more important than they are," he says.
Nobody nose the trouble I've seen. Now hear this: Otolaryngologists didn't choke on their words telling a newsletter that their professional lives smell.
According to The Physician's Advisory's survey tracking personal and professional satisfaction in eight specialties, 68% of ear, nose and throat doctors say they are either dissatisfied or very unsatisfied with their professional life. That was far and away the highest rate, with the second-gloomiest--obstetrician/gynecologists--at only 18%.
The Physician's Advisory did not explain specifically why otolarynogologists were so unhappy. The publication noted that for all doctors--no surprise--the longer the hours and smaller the paycheck, the unhappier the physician.
But Gregory Matz, M.D., chair of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine's otolaryngological program, says few of his colleagues are retiring early, and his program is expecting 250 applicants for three residency slots next year. Hardly the signs of dissatisfaction, sniffs Matz.
Charity begins at the pole position. Detroit pediatrician William Pinsky figured his race-car driving career was stalling when his Formula Ford series competitors nicknamed him "Turtle." He found greater success after steering his racing interest toward charity work.
Pinsky is the founder of Racing for Kids, a program using auto racing to benefit children's hospitals. Since 1989, Racing for Kids drivers have visited almost 8,000 children, while the organization has raised $700,000 for hospitals through charity events.
Pinsky, associate dean and professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine, also uses the charity to draw sponsors for perpetually cash-hungry auto racing teams. He says Hoechst Marion Roussel, CompUSA and Kelly Services have sponsored cars because of their association with Racing for Kids.
The charity's main driving ambassador since its founding has been Robbie Buhl, who in 1987 was Pinsky's instructor at the famed Skip Barber Racing School. Buhl, who won the Indy Racing League's Aug. 17 New Hampshire 200-mile race, can sympathize with the children he visits: He spent some time in the hospital after suffering a brain contusion during a June 13 accident at a Colorado track.
PPM U. PhyCor School of Medicine? Not quite, but the physician practice management giant, as part of agreements to manage faculty practice plans, could take on some teaching responsibilities at medical schools.
Under consideration are plans to have PhyCor supply part-time faculty to medical schools and accept residents in its clinics once it acquires the assets of the schools' faculty plans.
Nashville-based PhyCor is talking with a half dozen medical schools, including the University of South Florida, but the company would not say if any deals are imminent. Paul Keckley, PhyCor's vice president of strategic development, stresses that medical schools are initiating these talks.
Keckley also says that PhyCor is not demanding to have its hand in a medical school's operation but might help out if asked.