To the Editor:

Sometimes one can spray air freshener all around and it still stinks. Although I am not condoning anyone's behavior mentioned in your editorial, it would have been better form to leave a thinly veiled political opinion and pen lashing out of a medical journal. But, as you mentioned, you do have your right to speak your mind in any fashion that suits you.

"A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

Russell S. Cravey, MD, MBA

Kerrville, Texas


To the Editor:

Thank you for your editorial "Flying High, Sinking Low ..." I couldn't agree more.

Coming from the point of view that we need to at least try to find a way for the uninsured to access care, I bristle at the use of the word "Obamanation." I hope that my fellow ophthalmologists would not be duped by the simplifications, characterizations and name calling that have been used during the health-care debate by those who benefit most by maintaining the status quo.

William R. Beck, MD

Newton, Kan.

To the Editor:

I tip my hat to you sir!

I appreciated your editorial about the recent decline in American social standards and behavior as demonstrated by the actions of two ophthalmologists who should definitely know better. It was a much needed response to the total lack of decorum and what is considered by some to be acceptable rude behavior. Using political beliefs as an excuse for such indignant behavior is nothing short of uncouth ignorance and extremely bad manners. The fact that two so called educated and learned men participated in this type of behavior is all the more reason to address it and condemn it.

As a high school teacher I struggle daily to teach basic manners, acceptance and tolerance of others to my students. This type of public display only works to undermine the many countless individuals like myself who have devoted their life to trying to teach young people the importance of good behavior and respect for others.

My father is a well-respected (retired) ophthalmologist who has always lived his life with dignity and grace. He has taught me both by words and by example how to treat others.
His views and personal beliefs have never interfered with his basic belief of treating all people with respect and dignity. My father didn't just recite the Hippocratic Oath many years ago. He lives it each and every day. I am insulted the men in your article were also ophthalmologists. I do not question their long and difficult journey to becoming physicians. However, they are an insult to the entire medical community. The two ophthalmologists in the article are not my father's colleagues. They are in a class by themselves with other equally ignorant and bad-mannered people.

I admire your courage and commitment in tackling this issue and hope it generates much needed discussion and positive action. After all isn't the pen mightier than the ... rude, obnoxious mouth.

Linda S. Bowers

Nashville, Tenn.


To the Editor:

After reading your editor's page I cannot agree with you more but I can understand how it could happen. These actions demonstrate a growing animosity between all of us in the health-care industry and our elected officials. The random, repetitive attacks on doctors from President Obama, his administration and members in Congress, under the guise of reform have raised the bar in "us" and "them."

It's not surprising to lash back when your profession gets accused of unnecessary amputations to drive reimbursement; or the outrageous salaries that doctors earn or the fact that, and I quote Kathleen Sebelius, "they do nothing for nothing." I have a doctor friend who is a pediatric ophthalmologist who told me he won't work for free, so when he has a family with a sick child who cannot afford any service, he charges them one dollar.

Honestly, I'm surprised we haven't seen more outbursts at 30,000 feet.

Joe Marino

Skokie, Ill.


To the Editor:

The editorial in the May 2010 issue featured the Editor in Chief of the publication decrying the lack of civility among various protesters (citing an example of alleged misbehavior by two ophthalmologists directed at Representative Barney Frank), and I certainly agree that boorish, disrespectfulness is always to be condemned. One wonders, however, if such behavior is not encouraged when the President of our country routinely attacks the motives of virtually anyone who disagrees with him as selfish and not in the best interest of the country (according to his judgment of course), and even publicly attacks the Supreme Court members who, voluntarily and out of respect for him, attend his State of the Union address. Regarding this I can only state, as did Mr. Glenn, that "this kind of public behavior is truly disturbing for all of us."

Richard J. Mackool, MD

Astoria, N.Y.