Doctors Take Umbrage at Physicians' Porsche Promo

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , November 4, 2010

"I don't begrudge that they drive nice cars, but to equate quality with the kind of car you drive, that's absurd. It focuses people on the materialism of healthcare providers, rather than how do we provide better healthcare at a lower cost. They should have never consented to something like this," says Frank.

"Readers of this article shouldn't get the impression that all physicians can afford Porsches, while we try to get Medicare to properly value our services," says Ted Mazer, an otolaryngologist on staff at Alvarado and a California Medical Association officer. He drives a Toyota, by the way.

"Many physicians are clearly dependent on the correction of the SGR to buy any vehicle, let alone a Porsche," he said.

On the quality issue, Mazer adds, "It's great that these doctors look to the excellence of a Porsche. But it does not mean that doctors who drive Fords are any less excellent than a Porsche driver.  Nor does their ability to drive a Porsche reflect the rank and file physician's choice of a car."

Salimpour responded to my request for comment with this e-mail:

"As a physician and owner of Alvarado Hospital, I value the passion our medical staff brings to their professional and clinical work each day. That passion is reflected in their automotive hobbies, as seen in their choice to drive Porsches.

"That passion is also evident in the article that Porsche developed for other enthusiasts. It was never intended as a commentary on any aspect of the healthcare profession or the other 440 fine physicians at Alvarado whose automotive choices are entirely different. We sincerely regret any interpretation that suggests otherwise.  As healthcare providers, we are focused first on our patients and their needs.  That's the passion that matters."

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9 comments on "Doctors Take Umbrage at Physicians' Porsche Promo"

Maria Hannegan (11/5/2010 at 7:13 PM)
I don't like the way the article portrays doctors who have the ability to buy sports cars. Dr. Pedram Salimpur went through many years of schooling and has always been a great doctor to my daughter. He is attentive, kind, and deserves to spend his hard earned money on whatever he chooses. He always takes personnel interest and personally follows up on her progress and well being no matter what time of day.

stacy (11/5/2010 at 2:29 PM)
Why should this reporter or any other person care what hobbies another person has or how someone spends their money. The Porsche articel was a fun article. It seems as if the article from the San Diego reporter was written in an attempt to stir up controversy where none exists. I guess the hobbies a few docotrs might have are more improtant than the flooding in Haiti or the elections that just passed. I would like to know in these difficult economic times who is allowed to have a nice car, go on vacation, go to the movies, or out to eat? Is it just doctors who should do none of the above? I guess when I am in the hospital today doing my 36 hour shift caring for patients, I can only think that the reporter who wrote this article has had a nice meal, has the luxury of being at home spending time with her family, and sleepign in her own comfortable bed.

Michael Murphy (11/5/2010 at 2:19 PM)
Why are all the negative comments just against Mazer? That guy is a backstabber and an idiot because he is a dr at the same hospital and is going on record against his colleagues. But Stewart Frank is just as much of a moron. Why would you be so stupid as to talk to a reporter about fellow doctors like this? have you no integrity at all?




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