Manuel Anton III, M.D., is performing in two capacities relating to physicians that are incompatible--"policing and promoting the medical staff" (October, page 28).
For years, I have been telling my hospital administrators that the hospital needs a "physician's physician" outside the medical director's office who promotes the hospital to physicians first. Where there is hospital "competition" for patients, physician relations are most important.
The physician's physician is there for consultation outside the hearing of the administrator and the medical director. Information discussed should have full and total confidentiality and privacy, permanently.
The physician's physician is like an ombudsman when dealing with a public relations problem with the family or responsible party of a patient.
The physician's physician can be a buffer when there are interphysician problems.
The physician's physician should be on the hospital public relations office staff and budget, not that of the administrator's office or the medical director's office.
Physician, community and hospital staff education may be a part of the job description.
Even the smallest hospital, HMO or nursing home company should have a physician's physician.
Robert Webster, M.D.
Your November issue referenced a communication regarding Government Liquidation's sales of U.S. military medical surplus and noted that my company must be unaware of the possible need for this surplus amidst current military actions (page 16). I would like to clarify that all of the materials we sell have been offered for reutilization to all military branches and other governmental agencies before they are offered for sale to the public on our Web site.
We are working with the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service under the Commercial Venture II contract, and proceeds from military surplus medical sales are distributed to the U.S. Treasury. I would not want people to resist buying the medical equipment because they were under the impression that their purchases were undercutting U.S. military actions.