SPOTLIGHT: A breast cancer surgeon's lament

A California surgeon specializing in breast cancer talks about her practical experience with a problem that won't go away. She describes her average case, laying out the complex human process that it is, and notes that she's getting paid virtually nothing for critical parts of the job such as reassuring frightened patients, counseling families and doing case management. This is an interesting real-life case study in how payors skimp on reimbursement for patient interaction time. Column