More contributors to medicine

A reader responds to a recent President's Message column.

The February 2024 President's Message by Omar T. Atiq, MD, MACP, "The Ethical Nexus of Health Care: Purpose Over Profit," begins by eloquently stating, "The canvas of human history is painted with the evolution of medicine and health care, a tapestry woven across time and cultures." Dr. Atiq then goes on to list groups responsible for establishing the foundation of medical knowledge, including Egyptian, Babylonian, and Chinese civilizations, as well as Greeks, Romans, and Muslims.

Glaringly absent from this list were the Jewish people as major contributors to medicine. Need I mention Sabin, Salk, Ehrlich, Wassermann, Romberg, and Freud, among others, who have made seminal contributions to our noble profession? The list of recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine includes the names of numerous Jewish doctors.

I appreciate Dr. Atiq's beautiful prose but suggest that its use should not become cavalier. I also thank Dr. Atiq for his efforts to cure the societal medical ills of our generation. Along with most I.M. Matters readers, I appreciate his mastery of his labor of love for our profession.

Arnold Berlin, MD, FACP
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dr. Atiq responds: I thank Dr. Berlin for his comments. As noted, there have been many contributors to the foundation of medical knowledge and to medicine from many belief systems, and the Jewish people have unquestionably played a tremendous role, especially in the past two centuries. I reiterate the call to action from my column and emphasize that all of us, our collective conscience, will be needed to mend the moral fabric of health care and return it to its essence, elevating human welfare above capital gains.