Marketing a professional practice
I wish to comment on the letter from Mary Williams Griepenkerl (Forum, July 16) entitled, "Ads demean law." Ms. Griepenkerl says that professionals who advertise (lawyers, physicians, etc.) lower the public's perception of them.
It is true that some forms of professional advertising are offensive and may affect some people's perception of a particular profession. I submit that much of this reduced public favor is not due to silly ads, but to the failure of many professionals to recognize good business sense as being a vital part of their professions today.
I can verify that physicians are taking courses and seminars in business issues, in addition to their clinical curriculum and continuing medical education courses. Such issues include the changing legal requirements of setting up and maintaining a practice, contract negotiations, personnel management and, yes, communications and marketing.
With regard to the latter, marketing may include advertising but is now more commonly conveyed in the sense of teaching a professional how to inform the public about his or her services in today's competitive climate.
Esther Rae Barr
V The writer is executive director of the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians.
I am responding to the column by Linda Cotton in The Evening Sun July 5. While I understand and am deeply sympathetic to her sense of frustration over the horrible tragedy that occurred with the senseless death of the young and innocent Tiffany Smith, her article contained misstatements of facts that need to be clarified.
Baltimore city spends a total of $31,456,048 of federal, state and local funds on prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement efforts. Our citizens need to know about the comprehensive efforts that are taking place and the results that these programs are having.
When I was appointed as chairman of the Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission, I stated that a comprehensive statewide strategy had to be developed if we were to be successful in our plan to reduce drug and alcohol abuse. Because we found that each jurisdiction has its own unique characteristics and particular needs, the statewide strategy was formulated from the local level up, rather than from the state level down. The end result of this approach is an integrated statewide strategy that recognizes the important differences throughout the state, taking into account the different problems and needs of rural, urban, affluent and economically disadvantaged areas.
Further, we developed a three-pronged approach to our statewide strategy: prevention, treatment and criminal justice.
Our treatment component acknowledges the fact that thousands of individuals who have a drug or alcohol problem are being denied services because appropriate treatment is not available. We have developed programs to expand available slots and are developing innovative treatment models that make effective use of resources such as intensive outpatient programs. Last, but not least, our plan and strategies will not be ultimately successful until we change attitudes. It is wrong to expect dramatic results in a short time. Through perseverance, cooperation and commitment, our state will emerge strong and our future generations will be drug-free.
Melvin A. Steinberg
The writer is lieutenant governor of Maryland.
Time for a change
It's time that Baltimore city elect a new mayor.
For a city that wishes to read, Mayor Schmoke closed libraries. For neighborhoods that must be protected from fire hazards, Mayor Schmoke closed fire stations.
His use of bodyguards and limousines is a waste of dollars. His idea of legalizing drugs is bizarre.
These are just a few reasons why Baltimore city needs a new mayor, one who knows how to run city government.
Frank T. Brown
I am firmly convinced that we have made the correct business decision by not passing on the recent sales tax imposition to our loyal customers of snowballs selling for under $1.
We have been absorbing the tax increase ourselves, which will ** reduce our profits and thus reduce our taxable income. We may even come out ahead if snowball sales increase as customers appreciate our efforts to hold down the cost.
We also feel more secure, since it is highly unlikely that a "General Dynamics" of the snowball industry will ever move to Maryland to give us competition.