I’m a patient of Stephen Spencer, M.D., writing in response to “Paying physicians…” published on May 26. Audrey Dutton singled out Dr. Spencer to highlight the meals he received from the pharmaceutical industry, but neglected to consider the impact of the time he spent with drug reps. The main tools available to a primary care physician like Dr. Spencer are prescription medications. Currently, health insurances decrease reimbursement for physicians who prescribe “too many” brand-name products. In whose best interest is this? Not necessarily the patient. If older agents, now generic, aren’t working, patients need something else. I was very privileged to be cared for by Dr. Spencer, who took the time to learn about new products through lunches with drug companies, as well as through time spent reviewing medical literature. He has prescribed new medicines to me which are life-changing. Attempts by other physicians to resolve my medical issues were unsuccessful due to either a lack of information or knowledge. I am grateful that Dr. Spencer took the time to learn about new drugs. My life would not be the same without the care of Dr. Stephen Spencer, and his retirement is a huge loss to the Treasure Valley.
Allen Silverthorne, Eagle