"Is there a doctor on board?"

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A medical trade journal called Hospital Doctor has called upon the airline industry to improve its bedside manner. At issue is that dreaded question, "Is there a doctor on board?"

Though it's been given little thought until now, the airlines save a tidy sum when an in-flight medical emergency is handled by a passenger who happens to be an AMA member. Rerouting a flight in such a situation could cost as much as $100,000. That's slightly more than the price tag on an average physical exam.

What do the doctors want? Emergency insurance coverage, for one thing. Medical equipment guidelines for aircraft, for another. Both excellent ideas. They also want free upgrades for doctors who will be officially designated as on call. Well, okay, I guess.

If only people would start yelling "Is there an editor on board?"

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