AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. May 2009, Volume 11, Number 5.

Ethics Poll

Medicine and the Marketplace

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Would you be more likely to get a massage, manicure, facial, or other nonmedical body treatment at a “medical spa” that advertised physician ownership than you would to get one at a nonmedically affiliated spa, if the price were the same at both?
There is great disparity between the average pay earned by subspecialty surgeons (e.g., cardiac surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons) per hour of surgery and that earned by primary care physicians per hour of patient care that includes taking histories, making diagnoses, suggesting treatment plans, and educating and counseling patients. Which of the following best describes why you think this disparity exists?

The fact that many rural and inner city regions are medically underserved has been described as a “market failure,” implying that some outside help for pure market forces is needed. Which of the following interventions do you think would improve the distribution of needed primary care medical services? Check all that you think apply.
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.