angry doc is a little disturbed by two letters that were published in the ST Forum in response to Salma Khalik's article.
Fellow bloggers spacefan and Gigamole have blogged about them, and angry doc thought he might venture an opinion too.
While angry doc had always had respect for Prof Goh and more recently Dr Chong, he found their letters too defensive in tone; rather than to just stop at admitting that our profession has some way to go to policing our own, both men found it necessary to strike back at Ms Khalik.
Prof Goh tried to shift part of the blame for the problem to the media ("including the newspapers"), and in effect called Ms Khalik's article "unfair reporting" which hurt the feelings of ethical doctors.
Dr Chong brought in the red herring of the H1N1 pandemic, and accused Ms Khalik of being "callous and unpatriotic".
Ironically, the first sentence of Ms Khalik's article reads:
"There is no doubt that the majority of the 8,000 doctors in Singapore are ethical professionals."
angry doc has no love for Ms Khalik, but over the years he had come to realise that sometimes an 'unfriendly' journalist can in fact be the profession's and patients' best friend, and that the best question to ask when looking at a question on policy or ethics is sometimes: "What would Salma Khalik write if she knew about this?".
angry doc had never had his feelings hurt by expose of unethical doctors, because he knew very well how *he* practised; he is responsible for his professional actions as an individual, just as the errant doctors are - he feels no shame for other doctors' actions, just as he does not expect other doctors to feel shame for his actions.
Yet the letters from the two presidents have managed to make him feel embarrassed to be a doctor today. Had angry doc belonged to either of the societies, he might have felt ashamed.