Thursday, September 16, 2010

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd..."

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

I was reminded of this quote the other day when my blog, which was conceived as an eclectic mix of Masters swimming, medicine, and politics, was picked up  by search engines because of my March 6 post (An open letter to Roger Starner Jones, MD).  Dr. Jones, an emergency room physician in Mississippi, had written a letter to the editor of his local newspaper entitled, "Why pay for the care of the careless?" which later began circulating via email and more recently on Facebook.  I took issue with his views, specifically his characterization and obvious disapproval of a patient, and responded as one physician to another in the form of an open letter.  My point was that, regardless of how we may feel about society's ills and the flaws in our health care system, we as physicians have no business judging our patients.  I have received nearly seventy comments within the past few days, and I must say that I am surprised at the volume and, in some cases, disturbed by the content.

Swam at Nitro this morning with David, Tom, Eryn, Melanie, and Zach.  Rob coached.  Felt tired from call last night and still fighting off a bit of a cold.

400 swim, 400 pull
4 x 200 @ 3:15, odds free moderate (averaged 2:32), evens IM (averaged 2:49)
6 x 100 @ 1:20, averaged 1:11
8 x 50 kick @ 1:10
10 x 25 @ :40, odds underwater dolphin with fins (no breath), evens choice
1 x 200 fast, 2:00 rest, went 2:15
1 x 100 fast, 1:00 rest, went 1:02
1 x 50 fast, went :28
100 easy


  1. You certainly stirred up a hornet's nest. For what it's worth, I agree with your opinion and I remember thinking when I initially read the "Dr. Jones" email that this guy was working in the wrong field of medicine...perhaps he would be better suited doing breast enlargements and botox injections.

  2. Thanks, Matt. I was taught to treat all patients with respect. I have a photograph of Dr. Debakey in my office which he signed for me back when I was in training. He would have been very disappointed in Dr. Jones's letter (and likely would have fired him on the spot).

  3. I am one of those who found your blog because of a google search on Dr. R. S. Jones. I appreciate your comments. Best of luck with your flip turns and splits.