American Medical Association

Readers weigh in on the sad state of medical care

Robert Young

I learned a lot from readers responding to last weekend's column — an ode to my beloved doctor, who opted to retire rather than wrestle with forces turning the art of medicine into the science of numbers.

I won't find another Marcus Welby clone, they warned. The hand-holding primary care physician is virtually out of reach, unless you're very lucky or moderately rich.

Electronic medical record-keeping has promise but is plagued with problems. Collecting the data that can help control costs and track patient care has been such a cumbersome process that it's...