Russell Kridel MD comments on Physicians Under Attack

Physicians Under Attack: Part I

Physicians Are Under Attack

Physicians war against disease and illness every day. Battles we often win through science, dedication, compassion and hard work. But, we physician soldiers, and the whole medical profession are also under attack, taking our attention away from disease and prevention. We are under siege by a series of insidious attacks from behind our own lines, from those who should be on our side, from those who want us to think they look like our allies.

These governmental agencies, central planners, insurance companies, and hospital corporations may cause us to lose the war. Perhaps their actions are well-meaning attempts to decrease costs, but the collateral damage is severe. The government forces also expect us to fight harder at the same time they threaten not to pay us for our efforts. They now tell us if more patients get sick we will get lower reimbursements even though the government is sabotaging our supply lines.

Some physicians are losing the fight

Some of our doctor soldiers have been so severely wounded that some can no longer fight and have had to give up their practices.   But for those doctors still fighting, we know we can no longer retreat to our labs, our offices, or our operating rooms. Unlike in Vietnam or Afghanistan, we cannot give up; we cannot relinquish our battle to preserve the sacred physician-patient relationship. And more importantly, this is not a battle in some far off land; this is a fight on our own soil, where the future health of our population is at risk.

Physicians need to be the leaders in the fight to improve health care.

We have to make our false allies understand that only we, as physicians, can deliver medical care. We need to be the leaders in this fight. We need the help and cooperation of all parties who purport to want to improve health care, not their obfuscation. And, they need to listen to us.    — Russ Kridel

Russell Kridel MD is a Houston-based Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon in private practice in the Texas Medical Center. He is also currently the Chair of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) which provides information and recommendations on medical, scientific, and public health issues which are published in their entirety here or in excerpt form for some reports at To read more of Russ Kridel’s comments on important health care issues visit

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