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remembering jerry barta From Graham Ross '80
Sorry to hear of Jerry Barta's passing. [see article.
a memory of mine... Jerry Barta was a big lovable teddy bear who ran the sports center
with a big heart and a big voice and lots of bluster. The funniest thing I remember about
Jerry was the swimming pool. I liked to swim, and thanks to the P.E. requirement I was a
certified lifeguard, swimming instructor, kayaker, and a water polo player by the time I
was a junior. This was in the waning days of long-haired young men, and Reed still had plenty
of them. I was one. Jerry was absolutely sure that long hair was messing up the filter system.
To see him march up and down the side of the pool yelling at swimmers, trying to enforce
the swim cap rule without getting wet, was always a delight!
medical malpractice From Richard Daehler-Wilking '73
I would like to comment on the article "The Medical Malpractice System and Tort Reform" by
Carl M. Stevens '42 in the November
2004 issue of the
alumni magazine. Dr. Stevens says, "...on the premise that
efficient markets map relevant preferences into market performance, our preferences as
consumers of medical care should be decisive for the outcome of the tort-reform controversy
since we ultimately pay the tab for the medical malpractice system." Later, he states
medical malpractice system imposes only a modest direct cost burden on the medical services
sector. In recent years, the national total
of medical malpractice premiums has been less than one percent
of total personal health care expenditures." I agree with Dr. Stevens that I would
be happy to absorb the modest cost of malpractice
premiums in my medical insurance bills ...if that were the only effect to the system. However,
this argument seems to omit the effect of individual medical malpractice costs on individual
physicians, which is considerably greater than one percent of their individual costs. Individual
physicians have the right to make rational business decisions just like consumers,
and the physicians I prefer are
in jeopardy of being driven out of practice for reasons having nothing to do with their
expertise or conduct.