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THIRD WORLD DOCTORS AREN'T 'HUCKSTERS'

I am deeply concerned over Donn Esmonde's sweeping statement about Third World medical schools. I hope his viewpoint is one borne of ignorance, not prejudice.

There are as many "hucksters" from American medical schools as there are from Third World medical schools.

A large number of well-trained medical doctors from India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Egypt, Turkey, Korea and Taiwan immigrated to "the land of opportunities" in the 1960s and 1970s.

At times, they had to climb up the ladder of internship, residency and specialty fellowships for the second time to satisfy state laws.

Competency develops in the infancy of medical training -- at the medical-school level, be it Third World or American -- especially if opportunities abound in the form of hundreds of patients, as is the case in Third World hospitals.

A sense of dedication, compassion and conscientiousness are qualities that enhance the value of competency. Lack of these will not be obtained through any 800 number.

Professionals who do not abide by a code of ethics in their heart are not necessarily Third World medical "hucksters." In any form, they are truly a disgrace to their profession.

I agree that patients (not "consumers") should have access to a physician's (not "provider's") professional background.

A previous article in The News by Dr. David Anthone noted that "hospitals have systems for credentialing physicians who operate within them. The system also provides for setting policies for the monitoring of patient care during surgery as well as for the collection of data to assess patient outcome. The entire process ensures the continuum of quality care and sets the standards for operative care in New York State."

This process eliminates, in Esmonde's words, "the 'hucksters' with sheepskins from Third World medical schools whom no hospital wants any part of."

Sarah Smith's recent tragedy and the mishaps of three others, identified as Patients A, B, and C in Esmonde's column, are not only inexcusable, they are a disgrace to my profession.

My husband and I are Third World medical graduates with a son now in medical school in the United States. Our hope is that he will undergo the best training in the field he chooses and practice with a self-monitored code of ethics.

FARIDA BARODAWALA Williamsville

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