Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Forwarded Message:
Subj: Your E-mail
Date: 3/9/2004 2:30:31 PM Central Standard Time
From: mathicj@nytimes.com
To: MPetrelis@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear Mr. Petrelis,

In response to your recent inquiries to Dan Okrent and Len Apcar concerning
Dr. Altman, I've attached the information below.


Catherine Mathis
VP, Corporate Communications
The New York Times Company

All of the known outside activities of Dr. Lawrence K. Altman have
been authorized by The New York Times, where he is a reporter, and are
permitted under its Ethical Journalism guidelines.

Dr. Altman joined The Times in 1969 under a special arrangement
with its executive editor (then A. M. Rosenthal) that allowed him to work
as a reporter on medical affairs while continuing a limited participation
in medicine to keep his expertise current. Initially he worked as a
reporter four days a week and practiced medicine one day a week. When that
division of time proved impractical (because of the demands of running news
stories), he switched to a system of periodic paid sabbaticals from The
Times to practice medicine in various places.

He has not taken such a sabbatical in some years, but he continues
to make occasional rounds informally with colleagues at the NYU School of
Medicine, where he holds an unpaid appointment as clinical professor in the
department of medicine. In the past, he spent at least two sabbaticals
practicing there.

He has never been paid by NYU and does not write about its
institutional activities, though he is permitted by The Times to report on
scientific developments that occur there.

Dr. Altman's employment at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in Atlanta ended in the 1960's. He served there in fulfillment
of his military obligation as a doctor, in a uniformed post equivalent in
rank to that of a naval officer. The time counted toward his medical boards
and toward the equivalent of a residency in the military hospital system.

Dr. Altman has never worked in public relations or in an advocacy

The Times's Ethical Journalism handbook includes this provision:

"Staff members may not serve on government boards or
commissions, paid or unpaid. They may not join boards of
trustees, advisory committees or similar groups except those
serving journalistic organizations or otherwise promoting
journalism education."

Dr. Altman serves without pay on the journalism advisory board of
the nonprofit CDC Foundation, an activity supported by the Knight
Foundation, a journalism philanthropy. The advisory board chooses
journalists for fellowships in attendance at the CDC and assesses the
results of their studies. The board pays the travel expenses of members
attending meetings.

Dr. Altman serves without pay on the board of the Macy Foundation,
a nonprofit philanthropic organization that supports projects in medical
education. In that role, he succeeded the eminent oncologist and essayist
Lewis Thomas. His participation was authorized by The Times in 1984. The
board meets four times a year to vote on grants. When its meetings are
outside New York, the foundation pays the travel expenses of the members.

Dr. Altman serves without pay on the board of visitors of the
medical school at the University of California, Davis. He does not write
about the institutional activities of that school.

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