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Letters |

Self-prescribing by Physicians

Deborah Vatcher, MD
JAMA. 1999;281(16):1488-1490. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-16-jbk0428.
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To the Editor: I agree with Dr Christie and colleagues1 that self-prescribing antibiotics may be a problem and actually have potential negative health effects for the physician/patient, given that antibiotics are overprescribed for patients even when the physician is not the patient.

However, I am concerned with the overall tone of the article, which almost conveys a sense of immorality on the part of the responsible physician with health problems. For example, if an experienced internist cannot look at a simple lipid profile and make a determination, based on what he or she knows of the patient's lifestyle and diet, whether medical therapy would be appropriate, then what business does he or she have seeing patients with this problem? If the physician has hyperlipidemia, what objectivity is lost in looking at a simple laboratory report?

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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