Blog | Friday, July 18, 2008

Wine instead of an apple as gifts for doctors

The Wall Street Journal's "Tastings" blog highlighted what it feels is the common practice of grateful patients offering their doctors bottles of wine. Highlighted was William Shay, ACP Member, who enjoyed one patient's vintage given as a wedding gift, and is aging another patient's Opus One 1999.

The column details other physicians' favorite gifts and memories of the patients and family members who gave them. It even outlines some rules for offering wines as gifts (be thoughtful, make the selection as individual as a handwritten note, and avoid MD 20/20 for ophthalmologists).

In case you were wondering, ACP's ethics manual is OK with small thank you gifts that don't result in favored treatment. Clinical research hasn't been definitive about wine's potential harms and benefits, but the many studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine are worth perusing (with glass in hand, if desired).

What's your favorite bottle, and why did the patient give it?