Doctors push opposing views on health care bill

Paul West in the Baltimore Sun:

Zee [Dr. Michael] Gloth and [Dr. Zaneb] Beams differ sharply over how best to fix a system that each sees as badly broken. Perhaps surprisingly, given their opposing views, they have more than a little in common.

Idealistic and hard-working, they grew up in local households tied to the business of medicine. Somehow, each finds time to fit political activism into a busy life as a full-time doctor and parent of young children.

Beams, 37, a pediatrician from Ellicott City, is trying to mobilize practicing physicians – individuals not normally given to political activism – around issues such as changing the way doctors are paid.

“Obviously, I get to solve small problems here every day,” she said in an interview at her Columbia office. “But I've always been interested in the bigger picture as well.”

Last winter, she joined Doctors for America, an outgrowth of a physicians group from Barack Obama's presidential campaign. She e-mailed her personal contact list, asking physician friends to sign an online petition that was designed to draw them into the political process. When more than 1,000 replies came back within 36 hours, the group gave her a leadership position. She's now organizing doctors in Maryland and eight other states as a deputy field director.

More here.