The survey of metropolitan area hospitals {Metro, Oct. 6} was misleading and confusing to patients at Southern Maryland Hospital. It is very unfair to base a survey on the comments of doctors and nurses who have no experience with our hospital and on a group of laymen chosen on the basis of having a subscription to a magazine.

I am a busy board-certified otolaryngologist and head-and-neck specialist; my practice consists of both adults and children. I have been performing about 90 percent of my surgery for the past 10 years at Southern Maryland Hospital. Currently, I am president of the medical staff at the hospital, I am the immediate past president of the Metropolitan Washington Ear, Nose and Throat Society, and I serve on various committees of local and national medical societies. I am also on the senior attending staff at both the Washington Hospital Center and Children's Hospital National Medical Center.

I feel that the medical and nursing care at Southern Maryland Hospital is excellent and comparable to that at the above institutions. I feel quite comfortable performing extensive surgical procedures there. Furthermore, on the health campus we have state-of-the-art facilities in radiology and a hearing and balance center. In addition, the hospital is a designated trauma center for all of southern Prince George's County.

I have not found any hospital to be perfect, and hospitals nationally are experiencing a shortage of nursing staff. Southern Maryland Hospital is a much-needed facility in southern Prince George's County. It is a shame that The Post's survey cast doubt on the quality of care at such a facility. ARNALDO A. GARRO Clinton