Letters to the editor

Readers respond to coverage in I.M. Matters from ACP.

Focusing on physician shortages

In the President's Message in the April 2024 I.M. Matters from ACP, Omar T. Atiq, MD, MACP, mentions multiple issues affecting the physician shortage in the United States. To focus on just two: The financialization of American medicine, with its staggering increase in administrative costs, ongoing degradation of physician workflow, and failure to improve the health of Americans, could be addressed by a single-payer national system. Physicians and their leaders have rejected this solution for generations. How much worse do things have to get before a more rational solution is tried?

With regard to the statement that "... the oversight of medical education and training...demands scrutiny for potential optimization," schools and programs lurch from one reaccreditation cycle to another, wasting thousands of hours to address mostly minor deficiencies or meet documentation requirements that fail to add value or encourage innovation. The 1910 Flexner Report triggered radical change in medical education, but a new millennium demands relevant solutions to today's needs.

Stephen Sandroni, MD, FACP
Tallahassee, Fla.

Photo illuminates common error

On page 10 of the May 2024 I.M. Matters from ACP, in the article "Differentiating Type 1 from Type 2 Diabetes in Adults," a photograph depicts a patient self-injecting insulin with the cap still on the needle. While this is merely an editorial mistake, it is unfortunately also a mistake patients sometimes make when they are first started on insulin. Even after detailed instruction by a diabetes educator, some patients miss the crucial step of removing the cover and can delay proper treatment by several weeks until the problem is found.

Melissa G. Young, MD, FACP
Freehold, N.J.

The Editors respond: We thank Dr. Young for pointing this out and for including this important caveat regarding patient education. The image in question has been replaced on the I.M. Matters from ACP website.