It was good to see the letter from Nancy Porter-Steele, Ph.D., in the
January 2 issue recommending the Canadian health system. I was a colleague and
friend of her husband, Curtis Steele, M.D., when we were both practicing in
Baton Rouge, La., in the 1960s and 1970s. I always wondered where he'd gone
after I left town and we "lost touch."
For many reasons, I have been concerned about the future of private
practice for many years and am now a supporter of a single-payer health system
by gradually bringing everyone under Medicare (which has cared for me so well
since I developed cancer and have had other problems). I finally solved most
of my problems with private practice by going into public psychiatry. Dr.
Steele went to Canada.
Furthermore, I frequently share meals with Canadian physicians at a
bed-and-breakfast during annual trips to the Shaw Festival at
Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario. Although I have not talked to any orthopedic
surgeons (waiting lists for hip replacements?), I find that the primary care
physicians who stay at the same place are quite satisfied with their practice
arrangements and compensation, and as Nancy Steele describes in detail, they
particularly like the low overhead and lack of "hassle." It would
be interesting and useful to see letters from others with similar or different
experiences in foreign practice in Psychiatric News.