Move to Adelphi
Editor: It has been six months or more since the University of Maryland Board of Regents' office was quietly moved from Baltimore to Adelphi. To date, no public action nor notice has been made regarding the move. To many it was a strange and unfortunate move. The regents' office has always been located in Baltimore, where the University of Maryland was founded back in 1907.
The details regarding just how and why the move was made are extremely sketchy. The reason offered for the move, by people who should know, was that there was an excess of employees on the UMAB campus. The move would eliminate two from the payroll. This just does not make good sense. In the first place, regent expenses are shared by all the university. The cost should be the same at all locations within the system. It is doubtful that work done elsewhere would be the same as that done by the veterans of many years in Baltimore.
It is the general opinion that moving the office was most unfortunate, and perhaps someday the board office will be returned to its old home in Baltimore.
Samuel H. Hoover.
Editor: Israel's airlift of over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews for repatriation in Israel, in view of the deadly civil war in Ethiopia, was highly magnanimous, timely and inspirational.
I rejoice in the Israeli government's decision to move expeditiously, massively and efficaciously to render assistance to the beleaguered Ethiopian Jews.
I, too, hope that the temporary truce arranged in London between the warring parties in Ethiopia will bring surcease and peace to the Ethiopians who remain in their indigenous land.
Peace, freedom and prosperity are long overdue throughout Ethiopia.
Israel's bold and humanitarian gesture fully supports the sage counsel of the prophet Micah in daring "to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."
Kudos to Israel.
Samuel L. Banks.
Black Male Schools
Editor: Ken Hamblin's May 8 Opinion * Commentary article, "Young, Gifted and Black: Choosing Segregation," is full of very sad misconceptions. Mr. Hamblin seems to believe that racism no longer exists in this country and the scars of discrimination apparently heal over night. Neither of these misconceptions could be farther from the truth.
Mr. Hamblin believes that there is a bounty of black male role models presented by the media to our society. Unfortunately, black boys still do not have a large number of positive role models shown to them in the media.
In the popular media you find more negative role models than positive ones. For every Bill Cosby, Gen. Colin Powell and Dr. Ben Carson, there are literally hundreds of muggers, drug dealers and murderers paraded before us nightly.
Mr. Hamblin contends that the concept of all-male black schools is simply to teach the boys who are regarded as disciplinary problems. From the discussion that I have been privy to, the schools would be for all black boys.
No one argues that schools like Gilman, Loyola and Boys' Latin are horrible because they have white men teaching white boys to be successful men. There are also all female schools like Bryn Mawr, where white women teach white girls to be successful women.
No one would argue that it would be difficult for a man to teach a girl how to be a woman. Why is the converse so difficult to fathom?
The idea of the all-male black school is a much-needed vehicle to provide positive male role models for boys who may not have a healthy sense of self or a positive male role model in the family. Nothing more, nothing less.
Harold Young III.
Editor: Life can be beautiful, when one calls the Research and Information -- or Business and Science -- departments of the Central Enoch Pratt Free Library. Over many years I have had telephone contact with fine informant workers there, who took time and made the effort to supply me with correct and useful answers to my quest for information.
In this age of unfortunate indifference, I feel these people should be acclaimed for their courtesy and knowledgeable helpfulness, as well as for the dedication they give to their work and to the public.
A salute to each of them, as they go about behind the scenes, continuing to assist those in need of answers which, otherwise, may not be obtained so readily -- or at all.
Doris M. Doetsch.
Editor: I wish to commend reporter Robert Ruby and The Sun for its excellent and most moving account of the miraculous transportation of over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews from that war-torn country to Israel.
It was heartwarming to finally read that the goodness and brilliance of the parties involved -- Israel, President Bush, the Ethiopian rebels -- all meshed at the right time to bring about the safety of these just-surviving black Jews. I was so glad to read how The Sun took time out from the so-called peace process to show its readership the really important process which counts -- that of saving lives and the length to which Israel will go to pluck up entire Jewish communities from Russian to Ethiopia, from whatever they are threatened and bring them to the safety of Israel.
What better proof does the United Nations need about the calumny of the "Zionist being racism" condemnation leveled at the Jewish state?
Scoring Medicine's Questioners
Editor: As a member of the practice review committee of the Baltimore City Medical Society, which is responsible for assisting the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance in providing peer review of physicians accused of substandard practice, I found the May 17 Sun article by Jonathan Bor misleading and offensive.
Once again, by calling into question the relationship between local medical societies and the board, Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Mr. Bor imply that all physicians are greedy, self-serving and unable or unwilling to objectively police their profession.
Having been asked to join the committee shortly after the publication of the Washington Post articles to which Mr. Bor refers, I was uncertain as to what to expect. What I found was a highly conscientious and dedicated group of colleagues who were single-minded in their efforts to fairly evaluate the performance of doctors for whom complaints had been raised.
Each member volunteers several hours of time every month to perform what can only be described, at best, as an ugly and unpleasant responsibility which we take quite seriously. To insinuate that we whitewash our peers is nonsensical and insulting.
Establishing what are "acceptable standards of medical care" in a community is an extremely subjective and elusive problem. It is not dissimilar to pornography, which the late Justice Potter Stewart insisted he couldn't define, but knew it when he saw it.
To try to codify a set of standards which applies to all physicians in all settings is obviously impossible, yet this is what the committee is charged with by the board, which incidentally has not yet provided a list of guidelines for us to use in our work.
I shudder to think of how the process of judging physicians would work, as Dr. Wolfe advocates, if left to a group of paid non-physicians or clerks who understand little of the ways in which doctors practice their profession.
I have yet to learn of any data which prove a relationship between the number of physicians disciplined and the quality of medical practice. To assume that the state of Maryland is derelict in disciplining physicians solely on the basis of the number of cases in which actions have been brought is illogical and unfounded.
It does not take into consideration those cases which are evaluated and found to lack merit. The current system, which is less than two years old, must be given a chance to work before it is deemed the failure that Dr. Wolfe suggests.
The Washington Post articles in 1988 pointed out that 90 percent of all malpractice suits are filed against 5 percent of physicians. A five-percent rate of incompetency is still too high. However, while not an apologist for my profession, I dare say there are fewer bad apples in the field of medicine than many, if not most, occupations.
I am quite proud of the service that I, and the committee on which I serve, are trying to provide for the citizens of Maryland. Articles like Mr. Bor's do little to further our efforts.
John Josselson, M.D.