Driving, docs, and trust

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 51 , No. 2 , March 2009 , Pages 55 Letters

Dr Glynn-Morris wrote that a person who drives a car can afford to be tested for competency to drive the vehicle, and that such testing in people over the age of 75 would save lives [BCMJ 2008;50:550]. He suggested that the testing be done by an independent physician.

I agree. I have heard a rumor that some patients may leave their doctor if the doctor recommends the patient undergo a driving test. A doctor is supposed to help maintain a patient’s health, and a doctor needs the patient’s trust to do so. Requiring someone’s personal doctor to fill out the driver’s medical exam can erode the trust between the doctor and the patient.

A doctor’s job is to maintain his or her patient’s health. The Superintendant of Motor Vehicles’ job is to assure that people are competent to drive. Doctors should not have to assess a person’s competence to drive.

—Robert Shepherd, MD

. Driving, docs, and trust. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 2, March, 2009, Page(s) 55 - Letters.

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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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