After my lovefest for Dr. Mehmet Oz yesterday, I was reminded of the true state of the medical profession by the Los Angeles Times this morning:

Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center took steps this week to fire three physicians after auditors uncovered more alleged incidents of moonlighting, fraud and misbehavior by the public hospital’s senior doctors. (LA Times)

Four years ago, as evidence mounted that Merck’s blockbuster painkiller Vioxx could cause heart attacks, the company ordered its sales force not to discuss the emerging data with doctors, but instead to paint a reassuring picture of minimal risks, according to documents released Thursday at a congressional hearing. (LA Times)

Three doctors were charged Thursday with giving large amounts of Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs to mob members in return for construction and auto repair work done by Mafia-controlled businesses. (LA Times)

I found this last story the most interesting, mostly because it reminded me of a script I recently read titled, "The Godfather 2005."  Here’s the first scene:




The blinds are closed, and so the room is dark. We are watching DOCTOR SHAPIRO over the shoulder of DON CORLEONE.

              DON CORLEONE
Doctor, we know each other for years, but this is
the first time you come to me for help. I don’t
remember the last time you invited me to your
house for coffee… even though our wives are

              DOCTOR SHAPIRO
What do you want of me? I’ll give you anything
you want, but do what I ask!

              DON CORLEONE
And what is that, Doctor?

DOCTOR SHAPIRO whispers into the DON’s ear.

              DON CORLEONE
No. You ask for too much.

              DOCTOR SHAPIRO
I need to bring my Acura into your nephew’s shop
now, not Tuesday! The OnStar system is
on the fritz.

              DON CORLEONE
Did you bring it up with Joey?

              DOCTOR SHAPIRO
He says he’s totally booked up this weekend.
Please help. Talk to your nephew. He’s the
best shop in Westchester.

Slowly, DOCTOR SHAPIRO bows his head and murmurs.

              DOCTOR SHAPIRO (CONT’D)
Be my friend. Godfather.

              DON CORLEONE
I see. And if I do this for you, what service
can you do for me in return?

DOCTOR SHAPIRO takes out a large plastic bag from under the table. On it, in large letters, is written "PFIZER."

              DOCTOR SHAPIRO
                (smiling slyly)
Let me ask you something, Godfather. How is
your relationship with Mrs. Corleone?