Should physicians feel obligated to provide medical care on airplanes?
Have you been on an airplane when a flight attendant asked whether there was a physician on board to help with a medical emergency? Gregory Eastwood, MD (left), has -- seven times. Each time, he responded to help, even though as an administrator -- (he was president of Upstate Medical University from 1993 to 2006, and interim president from 2013 to 2016) -- he was decades removed from patient care. He decided to write about the legal and moral duty to act and how it applies to physicians on an aircraft for the Journal of the American Medical Association. In this interview, he expains the challenges of providing care in the air, and he offers a way for medical professionals to decide whether they should render assistance if asked.