Sir.—My congratulations to Dr Macdonald1 for a timely and precisely written article. Although my interest in the pediatric literature is based on a subspecialty interest in pediatric anesthesia, this article drew my attention for a slightly different reason.
To the majority of physicians currently in practice in the United States, I suspect medical school contributed precious little to their knowledge of alcoholism, with next to no mention even being made of other forms of chemical dependency. This was certainly true in my own case, and it was equally true that the very idea that any of these "hopeless" diseases could afflict physicians was unmentionable. Yet by the late 1960s, a fair body of knowledge existed concerning the impaired physician, eventually culminating 11 years ago in the publication of an article entitled "The Sick Physician."2 Somehow, as each specialty withdrew further from others, this general interest article, and the