Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fantasy Letter for Christmas

                                                                           December 25, 2013
Dear Dr. Colasante:
     We are writing to express our deep regret at having disturbed your life and profession these past three years in what turns out to have been a reckless and misguided attempt to catch a criminal and replenish the government's waning coffers.
     You are not a criminal.  In fact, you represent the doctor of the future.  We need more such physicians who take action with patients at the very first inkling that there may be a problem, before their patients and families perceive that a disease state has commenced its deadly course.  This kind of medical decision-making requires extreme sensitivity and should not be subject to interference by government bureaucrats regardless of their position or power to intrude on the doctor-patient relationship.
     When we contemplate how many dollars physicians like you save our country in downstream medical costs and patient life-years we realize that medical schools should be training more interventional family physicians.   In doing so we would be taking care of all Americans in a manner consistent with the international reputation for compassion and modernity we are trying to foster.
     We would like all family physicians to own and use ultrasound machines daily, for instance, as well as digital x-ray units, colonoscopes, mammography tools, in-house labs and heart monitors. We would like them to learn advanced surgical and cardiac diagnostic skills so that their patients trust them to make complex decisions about frightening symptoms.  We want family doctors to be aggressive about preventing cancers, heart attacks and infections even though the fruits of their efforts may be invisible and therefore difficult to measure.  We understand that when family physicians exercise hands-on skills and have lengthy appointments they should be paid much more than specialists, and we now accept that this is in the right order of things.  Family physicians are the cornerstone of this country's health.
     We are taking steps to recover for you all the payments that were unjustly withheld by the Medicare program while our investigation was underway, payments you earned legitimately, and we are unfreezing the assets we appropriated from your bank accounts two and a half years ago.
     Please return to medical practice immediately in the full knowledge that all our investigations have been terminated.  Your case is closed.  We apologize for having put you in the position of having to defend yourself against a brutish and unperceptive judicial hierarchy, and we are now inspired to correct the Lincoln Law and other vague, outmoded, and corrosive statutes.  We thank you for calling our attention to this country's legislative weaknesses.
     Best wishes for this holiday season, and thank you for making the contribution of your twenty years of medical expertise to our fellow citizens.


                                                                          Corey Smith, Federal Prosecutor
                                                                          Leah Butler, Civil Prosecutor
                                                                          Pam Marsh, U.S. Attorney

P.S.:  We'd like to schedule appointments with you as soon as you open a new practice.  Our own doctors don't do anything when we tell them what's bothering us.



  1. "You not a criminal." Fantasy letter, though are they really that stupid in writing and or verbalizing? Probably though perhaps it is a stretch to believe they are that ignorant, though maybe not. I would think two women (Leah and Pam) would edit the writing more closely, as obviously Corey the (man?) is just simply ignorant as a Federal Prosecutor. Duh.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I believe this was a typo. Dr. C simply forgot to put in the word "are." I do not think she is accusing her prosecutors of making this kind of mistake. They have already made plenty of mistakes.

      As a former journalist let me tell you it is exceedingly difficult to edit your own work. You get distracted by the meaning. That's why we have editors. People who didn't write the piece and are only looking for errors.

      I have been reminded this because I am now writing my own blog, and, alas, have no editor. I have found that reading it backwards helps, as that way you are less distracted by the meaning, and so are less tempted to re-write it, more likely to catch errors.

    2. Thanks for the correction--I put "are" in its correct place. The worst thing about blogs is that they are extemporaneous. All good writers know that editing and re-editing are paramount to good writing. But blogs by nature are seat-of-the-pants writing, which is what makes them immediate and therefore so revealing about their writers (who disclose aspects of themselves they might have wished they hadn't), but also irksome for obsessive grammarians and word-junkies to read. BTW, I have checked out your blog, Rinker, and I like it a lot. I've also read some of the blogs you recommend, very intellectual and excellent reading, especially the philosophers. Feel free to mention it here, for other readers of my blog.

    3. Not Me. Thoughts about using correct grammar seldom come to mind. Interest in philosophy, never.

  2. Must be mixing your blog up with another. Also recall posts about exercise and cardiac arrhythmias. Very interesting.

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