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