Letters To The Editor


April 19, 2004

Medical resident matching system is fair, efficient

As chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, I applaud Congress for protecting the National Resident Matching Program by providing an exemption from anti-trust laws ("Doctors to fight on against `matching,'" April 14).

The match is a fair and efficient computerized process that matches graduating medical students to residency programs at teaching hospitals around the country.

Since 1952, the match program has brought order to what was previously a chaotic system of one-on-one interactions. Before the program, students with the best connections often received the best job offers, even if they were not the most qualified candidates. Minorities were at a clear disadvantage, in part because they typically lacked the connections to secure residencies of their choice.

Matching levels the playing field, allowing more than 20,000 graduating medical students to apply for the residency programs that best suit their professional needs. Under the match system, 85 percent of medical school seniors are accepted by one of their top three choices, and more than 60 percent are admitted to their first choice.

It is important that we preserve the matching program, which brings fairness to the transition between medical school and residency.

Dr. Donald E. Wilson


Liability problem won't just go away

It was quite disappointing to watch the General Assembly shelve medical liability insurance reform for another year ("GOP fails to force malpractice vote," April 8). What lawmakers failed to recognize was that soaring insurance premiums are creating an extreme hardship for many physicians, nurses, hospitals and long-term care facilities throughout Maryland.

The problem won't disappear. Instead, it will worsen, moving Maryland toward a crisis situation similar to what's happening in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

We know there are no easy answers. Our hope is that state legislators and the administration will use the summer and fall to thoroughly evaluate this serious situation and get behind reforms that will restore balance to Maryland's medical liability environment before it is too late.

Calvin M. Pierson


The writer is president of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Help Americans to break tax `code'

The Sun's editorial "Taxed" (April 15) implied that the IRS is the problem with lost tax revenue. I strongly disagree. Our tax code is just that: an unbreakable "code." Our wonderful elected officials have made the laws impossible to understand.

I agree that taxes are necessary, but they should not be so confusing.

Simplify the tax code. A task force of average citizens would do it. Hire them. The jobs are needed.

Charles P. Koerner


Frosh was no loser in Assembly session

I was surprised and dismayed to see Sen. Brian E. Frosh listed by The Sun as a "loser" in the General Assembly session ("Winners and losers," April 13).

Mr. Frosh has been a leader in the Senate on consumer issues, introducing several successful measures this year, including a bill to expand enforcement of the popular do- not-call list. While these issues may not garner headlines, they make a difference in the day-to-day lives of many people.

The Sun unfairly faults Mr. Frosh for the failure of the assault weapons ban to pass his committee. However, the blame clearly lies with the senators on the committee who voted against the measure.

Mr. Frosh is intelligent, hardworking, committed and, yes, nice. If that makes him a loser, the General Assembly is in worse shape than most of us thought.

Cheryl L. Hystad


The writer is executive director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Inc.

Miller provided key leadership

I could not disagree more with your mischaracterization of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller this Assembly session ("Winners and losers," April 13).

But for Mr. Miller's statesmanship and intervention to resolve the budget impasse, the legislature still would have been in session and the taxpayers footing the bill.

Mr. Miller did what was in the best interest of the process and the citizens of this state.

He deserves much more credit for his statesmanship than The Sun has given him.

Kimberly M. Burns


Both Vietnam, Iraq had domino theories

The Vietnam War and the "liberation" of Iraq are alike in two respects only ("Vietnam vet sees what Bush doesn't: lookalike wars," April 15): Both have military forces that did, or will, get bogged down in attempting to reach unattainable goals, and both were officially started by an administration that led people, and our Congress, by virtue of lies, deceptions and a false appeal to our patriotism.

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