Medical Society stance doesn't undermine care

To the editor:

Clarence Fanto misinterprets the Massachusetts Medical Society's position on direct primary care ("The Bottom Line: Stratified medicine exacerbates shortage of primary care physicians," May 1), as does the physician whose letter he quotes from The Boston Globe.

Physicians recognize the implications of different models of delivering primary care, particularly as we have a shortage of primary care physicians. It is understandable that some physicians would establish direct primary care practices, as the ever-mounting burdens of administrative, insurance, and technical requirements and mandates are preventing physicians from spending as much time with their patients as they — and their patients — would like.

However, the Medical Society's position is that it recognizes the right of all physicians to engage in practice as the individual doctor sees fit for the benefit of his and her patients. That is quite different from providing "organized support" for direct primary care, as Mr. Fanto writes, or allowing "the practice of shedding or denying care to patients who are not able to pay the extra fee for this so-called personalized care," as Dr. Solomon writes in the Globe.

Dennis M. Dimitri, M.D. Waltham The writer is president, Massachusetts Medical Society.