High-fives and hat tips to DrRich at [removed][removed]The Covert Rationing Blog[/removed][/removed], who has composed a pointed indictment of The New York Times' recent published attack — by Natasha Singer — on dermatologists who offer so-called two-tiered services to patients — a "first class"-type treatment of cosmetic patients versus "coach class"-type treatment of medical patients. Skin in the Game:
Naturally, the New York Times is scandalized by the dichotomy which its discerning readers will note here. Why should a patient with a mere cosmetic issue be treated so well, when a patient with an actual medical problem, possibly even skin cancer, is treated so shabbily? How can dermatologists openly encourage such a two-tiered system?
DrRich has a word of advice for the commentators and reporters of the New York Times and any other concerned Americans worried that dermatologists, by setting up separate-but-not-equal practices for their two kinds of patients, are moving us one step closer to the dreaded two-tiered healthcare system we all abhor. That word is: Chill.
Read it all [removed][removed]here[/removed][/removed]. The Times' piece has been widely republished internationally and has done much to sully the reputation of the dermatology field.
In addition, the dermatologist who was roundly quoted in Singer's article, a Dr. Richey, has since complained loudly among colleagues in the organization that represents dermatologists, the AAD, after the article was published. He reportedly claimed that Singer skewed her questions in order to justify the article's conclusions, which may have been decided in advance — by the Times' editors — that dermatologists should be "taken to task" for doing what any businessperson does all the time in every line of work you can imagine. Specifically, the old bugaboo of greedy doctors caring more for money than their patients, a.k.a. that old-time, anti-business diatribe that liberal newswriters are notorious for. The Times editors and Singer do not help the cause of journalism in adopting such a simplistic, ignorant attitude.
For example, when you buy an airline ticket you can buy the coach fare, the cheapest fare that you can get and which offers basic services, or pay a premium and buy a first-class ticket, in which you are offered much higher levels of service. Apply this same concept to not only medical offices but hotels, grocery stores (e.g., the 99-cent store vs. Trader Joes), etc.
Singer has been known to write half-baked "media stories" that serve to throw panic and loathing into its readers — the paper in this way does not educate, but instead does its utmost to keep its readers stupid, and perpetuates the ignorant myth of greedy doctors.
Incidentally, the AAD is to be criticized here, as well, for producing a research study last year that props up the Times' hypothesis. As such, Richey has been told to stop complaining and the AAD has decided to keep quiet and not respond publically to the Times' article.