To the Editor:
The alarming rate of medical errors noted in the recent article “The Family Physician's Role in Reducing Medical Errors” [February 2000] certainly comes as no surprise to those of us who have been practicing medicine for at least the last two decades.
Probably the most significant reason for increased medical errors is the changing economic structure within which we practice. The onslaught of managed care has turned the humanitarian practice of medicine into a business (equivalent to selling hot dogs on the street corner) and has created an environment in which the labor force in nursing homes, hospitals and other settings is cut to save dollars. Until sufficient numbers of well-trained medical personnel are employed, the quality of care can only further deteriorate.