"I don't begrudge that they drive nice cars, but to equate quality with the kind of car you drive, that's absurd. It focuses people on the materialism of healthcare providers, rather than how do we provide better healthcare at a lower cost. They should have never consented to something like this," says Frank.
"Readers of this article shouldn't get the impression that all physicians can afford Porsches, while we try to get Medicare to properly value our services," says Ted Mazer, an otolaryngologist on staff at Alvarado and a California Medical Association officer. He drives a Toyota, by the way.
"Many physicians are clearly dependent on the correction of the SGR to buy any vehicle, let alone a Porsche," he said.
On the quality issue, Mazer adds, "It's great that these doctors look to the excellence of a Porsche. But it does not mean that doctors who drive Fords are any less excellent than a Porsche driver. Nor does their ability to drive a Porsche reflect the rank and file physician's choice of a car."
Salimpour responded to my request for comment with this e-mail:
"As a physician and owner of Alvarado Hospital, I value the passion our medical staff brings to their professional and clinical work each day. That passion is reflected in their automotive hobbies, as seen in their choice to drive Porsches.
"That passion is also evident in the article that Porsche developed for other enthusiasts. It was never intended as a commentary on any aspect of the healthcare profession or the other 440 fine physicians at Alvarado whose automotive choices are entirely different. We sincerely regret any interpretation that suggests otherwise. As healthcare providers, we are focused first on our patients and their needs. That's the passion that matters."