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Other Physicians

Physicians work with other physicians in three roles: as colleagues, supervisors, and competitors. Physicians have a duty to consult with other physicians when it is necessary for a patient's welfare. They must also ensure that other physicians they work with deliver good medical care. Finally, physicians must compete fairly with other physicians, resisting the temptation to use quality-of-care issues as a cover for anticompetitive activities. This has become a major area of legal conflict as medical practice has become more competitive. The United States has traditionally valued free enterprise and has strict laws governing attempts to restrict competition. Physicians must balance the need to preserve good-quality medical care against the policy of allowing the market to regulate business activities.


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