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Real Doctors Providing a Service to Society

February 12, 2003

Re "Good First Aid for Hospitals," editorial, Feb 9: Amid the attention on fiscal efforts to manage our county health and hospital crisis, there is one background element that demands a mention.

In a wild roller-coaster ride, the one constant, apart from those who need medical care, is those who provide it. Those who never seem to be recognized are the young doctors-in-training, the interns and residents who toil, who care, tirelessly, unselfishly and under terrible conditions, both in hospital and at the outlying clinics.

During a typical afternoon, a handful of young physicians under the supervision of two faculty members will treat up to 80 or 90 patients, many of whom are seriously ill and incapable of participating in their own treatment. As a faculty member, it is my privilege to witness what must be the purest example of service in our society.

This is not the television version; it's not sexy or funny, and we're not curing cancer. What it is, is dedication, optimism, integrity ... and caring. It is the best of humanity.

Peter Pressman MD

Dept. of Internal Medicine

USC

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