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ARTICLE |

We Physicians Are Fiduciary Failures

George B. Markle IV, MD
JAMA. 1978;239(16):1629-1630. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280430045013.
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IT IS difficult for most members of the medical profession to think of themselves in the role of a fiduciary, especially since many of us not versed in financial jargon do not even know what a fiduciary is. In essence, a fiduciary is a person (or an institution) who holds something of value for another in trust.

When one looks at the costs of medical care today, it should become apparent that we are responsible for more than just the physical well-being of the patient; we are in a position to bankrupt him or the society that pays for his care. Every time we order a test or a roentgenogram, send a patient for a consultation, prescribe a medicine or a therapeutic procedure, or admit a patient to the hospital, we are investing his money on his behalf, supposedly for his own health. It is the same as though a

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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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