Prolo Lecture
Donald Prolo, MD
Donald Prolo has been a member of the WNS since 1974 and an almost constant attendee at our annual meeting. To anyone who has known Don Prolo over the past few decades, his love of classical thinking and values stands out as a real weathervane for who he is and what he stands for. Don has been a champion of physician control of patient care as compared to what has become control by government and insurance companies. He gallantly tried, where no others ever went, to get a California based Sherman antitrust exemption so doctors could gather together and bargain with the government and the insurance companies for their services. He has continued to work on maintaining physician independence and loudly laments the erosion of private practice with now half of physicians employed by commercial interests. As he said in his WNS Presidential address in 2002, it is "...a citizen's natural right to rebel against unjust positive laws and determinations not made with respect to antecedent principles of natural justice. Coercive threats of fines, sanctions, incarcerations are forces against American medicine without moral authority." He went on to say “In the first two books of the Republic, Plato raised the question why should one be just in his actions toward others or in relation to the community in which he or she lives? The answer lies in the fact that the moral virtues of prudence, temperance, courage and justice underlie happiness, the primary good we desire for ourselves and others.”. In the pursuit of the above values, Don and his wife Joanne have endowed an annual lecture, the Prolo Lecture, to be delivered by diverse speakers addressing professionalism and ethics in medicine. The inaugural lecture was in 2021.

Prolo Lecturers