Oration from 1984

Oration Title:

It Was the Best of Times...


Jacob Spungin, M.D.

Abstract of Oration:

Dr. Spungin, a general practitioner with forty years of practical experience, shares wisdom gleaned from such a long practice. Throughout, two principles have held true in his relationships with patients and colleagues. The first is that "patients continue to want a physician whom they can call their own, and that the Worcester area has been blessed with excellent relations between the great majority of doctors". Addressing the former, he points out that "some of our most grievous errors in the management of a patient ... are caused by the presence of too many 'captains'". His relationships with his colleagues have been invaluable to him professionally and personally.

Spungin is proud to be a general practitioner. He feels he does a great service to society, although it sometimes goes unnoticed. He criticizes insurers' tendency to foster unproductive competition between physicians and to impose paperwork on doctors that takes time away from their practice. He urges his colleagues to take responsibility and make physicians' voices heard by legislators, the media, and society at large. If doctors do not fight the wrongs done to them and their profession, who will?

He continues by drawing his audience's attention to those who support the medical profession and make each doctor's job easier--nurses, spouses, and secretaries. Dr. Spungin's optimism and clear love for his profession are evident in his desire to continue to improve medicine. He sees the flaws in its organization and execution as fixable.

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