When I ask myself the question ‘What’s in a name?’, I’m certainly not thinking of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Having grown up in Chicago, I can recall several public schools named after Chicagoans or Illinoisans, such as Herman Raster, John Altgeld, John Crerar, Adlai Stevenson and William Harper. And of course, other Catholic schools were named after the great saints and martyrs. I’m guessing here when I say that most of us never knew the stories of the people whose names adorned our schools. But certainly all of Chicago remembers the name of Police Commander Paul Bauer, whose life was taken while he was ‘serving and protecting’ a city he dearly loved.

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Commander Bauer, without question, was an example of what all of Chicago would like police officers to be. He was a leader who was compassionate, patient and sympathetic to the needs of the community, and yet was firm in his resolve to protect a city he loved. The stories about him are too multiple to list here.

Commander Bauer’s daughter attends a public school that is not named after a person, but a location. He was very active in the school’s activities and was always a regular face before, during and after school. Chicago once had a school named after a police officer, former Superintendent Orlando W. Wilson (later renamed after Jackie Vaughn, the late president of the Chicago Teachers Union). In my humble opinion, Chicago’s leaders, and all of Chicago for that matter, should think hard about naming a school after a man who sacrificed his life in the service of his beloved city. It would be a fitting tribute to a hero whose memory would then live on in our city’s history.  

Bob Angone, retired Chicago police lieutenant, Miramar Beach, Florida

Pain management a complex specialty with few real experts

I want to thank a recent retired family practice physician, Steve Menhennett, for sending his recent letter to the editor. He highlighted a few of the problems that exist in the most complicated specialty in medicine, pain management. He is correct: There are very few “true experts” within pain management.  This is a major problem and has been for decades. In fact, the #StupidityEpidemic within pain management started with some of the “pain doctors” who practiced in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They vehemently claimed that Oxycontin was not addictive. Most of these physicians are still professors and even chairmen at universities and hospital departments!

It seems that almost everyone in medicine calls themselves pain management physicians.  Even non-physicians are calling themselves “pain doctors” or “pain practitioners,” perpetuating the #StupidityEpidemic. States have allowed any practitioner to call themselves a “pain specialist” if they want to.  Imagine a random physician claiming to be a cardiologist because a blood pressure was taken, or claiming to be a radiologist because an X-ray was read, or claiming to be a pediatrician because a vitamin was recommended to someone under the age of 17.  Well, that is happening in pain management, and that is one of the reasons why it is so messed up. Speaking just of the real, true pain management physicians, there are massive insurance issues that make the practice of legitimate pain management very difficult, if not impossible.  I personally know of multiple legitimate pain physicians who had to close their practices, as they could not make ends meet. Overhead was a killer and reimbursements were too low, not to mention the ridiculous legal challenges and hurdles this specialty faces.

I do want to call out one comment in the letter.  As a physician, we should be proud if we are paternalistic with our patient’s safety.  If all physicians tried to keep their patients as safe and as healthy as their own children, outcomes would improve greatly, and morbidity and mortality would decrease.  I believe this is why I have seen patients for consults or procedures from over half the states in America and seven countries. Their other physicians did not care as much as I did for their well-being.

Jay Joshi, CEO and Medical Director, National Pain Centers, Illinois

Elected police board makes no sense

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa’s suggestion that Chicago adopt a democratically elected police board is either scary or downright terrifying. Can you imagine his 22 elected representatives, with absolutely no law enforcement experience or training, deciding what police tactics, training, excessive violence situations, and the thousands of other situations occurring on a daily basis need to be handled? How many of those democratic voters are gang members looking to cripple the police force? How many have no clue what a police job entails? And after the election, how many will vote to punish an officer for any infraction or perceived infraction committed?

Grassroots this or community that telling the cops how to do their job — has Ms. Lightfoot or Mr. Ramirez-Rosa ever accompanied beat cops patrolling the Englewood or Austin neighborhood at any time during the day or night? Have they ever gotten out of a car when shots are being fired, while trying to do their jobs?

And what will these law-and-order advocates do when hundreds or thousands of police officers, supervisors and command staff get fed up and resign? What then? Will Lori and Carlos and their 22 board members put on uniforms and patrol the streets of Chicago?

James Guthrie, North Aurora