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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Re: "Playing doctor again in Richmond" on Feb. 25 (editorial):
Thank you for outlining some of the unintended consequences of the Lyme disease bill that is before the governor. In addition to this intrusion into the relationship between patient and physician, the General Assembly has now stepped into the business of establishing standards of medical care.
As a rheumatologist providing care to hundreds of patients with musculoskeletal disease, I am well aware of the difficulties of providing an accurate diagnosis with less than perfect laboratory studies. It is naï ve to believe that a piece of paper with information that is routinely communicated to patients by physicians during a face-to-face office visit will affect the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in Virginia.
If the General Assembly's goal is to provide information, why not take a broader approach toward building public understanding of this condition? This, combined with physician efforts to educate patients (which are based on widely accepted, evidence-based standards of care), would have greater impact on Lyme disease and would support the patient-physician collaboration in navigating the diagnosis and treatment of a complex medical condition.
DR. CATHERINE LESKO DANIEL
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