Seaberg leads nation's emergency doctors

Seaberg leads nation's emergency doctors

October 19th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Chattanooga's Dr. David C. Seaberg has gained national recognition -- and drawn favorable attention to our city -- by becoming president of the American College of Emergency Physicians during its recent meeting in San Francisco.

Seaberg is a professor and dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Minnesota and completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh. He has authored scores of publications of various types and has received a range of awards for research and teaching.

Seaberg sensibly noted that medical liability reform needs to be part of reforming health care.

"The nation is focused on controlling health care costs ...," he said in a news release. "However, there can be no meaningful health care reform without medical liability reform. It is a key to controlling costs."

One of the dangers of out-of-control medical liability costs is that they prompt doctors in many cases to order tests that may not really be necessary, for fear of facing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

That increases overall health care costs, with the price tag for so-called "defensive medicine" running at least into the tens of billions of dollars annually.

Seaberg is right to call for a change.

We are fortunate to have his expert leadership in the Chattanooga area, and we commend him on his new position of leadership of the American College of Emergency Physicians.