I WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT your article regarding Dr. Larry Bruni (“Side Effects,” 9/25) directly referenced the experience of only two of his patients. Had you done a bit more research, you might have found another compelling angle to Dr. Bruni’s story.
After reading the article, I was left with the distinct impression that Dr. Bruni’s public-relations persona—you described him as having “abundant charm”—had blinded you to a central tenet of his practice which, in my opinion, led to his downfall. Dr. Bruni was (or perhaps still is?) interested in making money money money. In his zeal to be “ahead” of other doctors, he started a pharmacy in his office and made financial arrangements with home IV companies; can you say “conflict of interest,” boys and girls?
Certainly a physician with his experiences in the field of HIV disease becomes accustomed to certain treatment options and holds certain biases. What he forgot along the way was how to listen. My spouse fired Dr. Bruni as his personal care physician when it became clear that Dr. Bruni was more interested in pushing his protocols than in listening to what my spouse had to say. As AIDS becomes more and more a chronic disabling disease, it becomes more and more important for physicians to listen carefully to what their patients report, use their clinical skills to uncover what infections, etc., might be coming next, and use prophylaxis and other treatments where appropriate.
Thankfully, my spouse has found a doctor who listens. I hope the other patients under Dr. Bruni’s care who left (and the number is quite large) have found the care they need with a physician more interested in keeping them well than in making money.
Dupont Circle, via the Internet