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As a retired physician, I read your article about nurse/physician relationships with interest. The article seemed to focus on the negative aspects of physicians' attitudes.
Dealing with nurses in numerous hospitals, I found that one could very rapidly sense the atmosphere in each setting. In some facilities, nurses were pleasant, available, and cooperative, even finding time to make rounds with the doctor. In others, the attitude was more distant-"You do your thing and we'll do ours"-and time was usually too limited to put our minds together.
Although I've seen great advances in nurses' cognitive and technical skills, I still think the admitting physician is the "captain of the ship" who shouldn't be addressed by first name, especially in front of the patient or her family. Patient-centered care must be our main priority. Problems should be freely discussed and abuse should never be tolerated.
OLGARD DABBERT, MD, RETIRED
San Diego, Calif.
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