What do you think?
Momentum welcomes your comments -
pro or con - about issues of concern to the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Please address your comments, address changes, letters to the editor, and other correspondence to Momentum, 1440 Clifton Road, Suite 105, Atlanta, GA 30322; mgoldma@emory.edu, or call 404-727-8793.

In this issue

From the director / Letters
Burden of proof
Big Idea:
  Regenerative Medicine
Moving forward
On Point:
  Smallpox, big risks?


Bias on medical liability issue

In the last issue of Momentum, the president of the Medical Association of Georgia's call for a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases was a thinly veiled attack on trial lawyers, if not the legal profession ("Medical liability in Georgia: The crisis is now").

As the son of a physician and nurse, I admire the medical profession greatly and feel no need to defend trial lawyers or jury awards. However this column was one-sided and biased -- simply a piece of propaganda. The writer made no mention of the serious national concern with medical malpractice (the eighth leading cause of death in America, with as many as 98,000 preventable deaths per year, well ahead of AIDS and breast cancer). He did not address the profession's weak to nonexistent efforts to police itself. In addition, some of the more serious causes of the increase in liability premiums were not even mentioned. I await with bated breath the drop in malpractice premiums once caps are in place.

Your magazine should make efforts to print only objective and balanced articles rather than run the risk of offending readers in the Emory community who do not appreciate the self-interested and biased perspectives of one group.

Hulett Askew, 67L
Director of Bar Admissions
Supreme Court of Georgia

EDITOR'S NOTE: From its inception five years ago, Momentum magazine has included a first-person editorial, On Point, written by a faculty or staff member. These editorials reflect the opinions of the authors and not necessarily the position of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Momentum was created to chronicle the forward movement in the health sciences center and to offer a forum for dialogue on issues that affect faculty and staff and our patients.


Not the last straw

Momentum is an excellent adjunct for Emory medical alumni. With Emory Report, it gives considerable perspective on Emory affairs.

Emory is also most fortunate to have Dr. Alan Plummer. At great sacrifice to his personal life, he has pursued organized medicine as few in academia do. (See "Medical Liability in Georgia: The Crisis is Now," Winter 02-03.)

Jon Saxton's fine article, "Battling back," is timely. But I would take issue with his sentence, "...the collapse of the Clinton health reform in 1993 was the last straw for 20th century health care reform." Clinton's liberal approach would have ultimately resulted in socialized medicine.

For 13 years, I have been a consumer, rather than a provider of medical care. But two of my grandchildren (my granddaughter and her husband) recently began their medical practice. They graduated from and completed their residencies in Emory's medical program. My encouragement to my two other grandchildren to enter the medical field is steadfast. Someone once said "each generation has to reinvent the wheel."

Fleming Jolly, 47M
Former member of The Emory Clinic
1999 recipient of the Emory Medal, the university's
highest honor


Misleading title

The recent article featuring Emory Hospitals' new partnership with Georgia Perimeter College indicates that the associate degree nursing students being supported by Emory Hospitals are known as "Emory Scholars." I believe this title is misleading.

The university uses the term Emory Scholars to refer to students in Emory College who are selected on the basis of academic merit to participate in an enrichment program called the Emory Scholars Program. Students in this program receive scholarships from Emory University to support their undergraduate education. The use of the term "Emory Scholars" in the article implied a connection with the university that simply does not exist. In addition the use of the term Emory Scholars could lead staff or patients to assume these students are enrolled in the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program offered by the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory.

Georgia Perimeter College students in the hospital-sponsored program are seeking associate degrees in nursing and have no connection to Emory University. It would be more appropriate to call them "Emory Hospitals Scholars" since their scholarship comes from the hospital and not from the university.

Helen O'Shea
Director of the BSN Program
Chair, Adult and Elder Health Department
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Copyright © Emory University, 2003. All Rights Reserved.
Send comments to the Editors.
Web version by Jaime Henriquez.