A few days after cozying up to President Obama in Washington, Governor
My take: It just gets old. Over-ride the veto. And finish the job that was started in 2010. Vote this Joker (why yes, it's a shameless comment on her far-too-obvious & overdone plastic surgery) and her twaddling legal penguin (Attorney General, Roy Cooper) out in 2012.
I continue to follow, with great interest, the growing grass roots movement amongst physicians to put the brakes on the tedious, largely clinically-irrelevant and expensive "Maintenance of Certification" (MOC) requirements that are now being imposed by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Board-certified doctors who are 40, 50, 60 and even 70 years old are feeling more than a little like Shakespeare's Shylock: If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? We've jumped through all the hoops. We gave and gave and gave of our youths in order to be what we are and do what we do. We paid our dues - and did the indentured servitude in medical school and residency - and sat for for the "secure exam". We do the continuing medical education now - as a condition of our licensure. Many of us have served our government in one fashion or the other with distinction and honor. We've literally bled for our communities and our patients. And all of this apparently was for the dubious privilege of being told that we are greedy and selfish because we don't think "sharing the wealth (such as it is)" is right or fair . . . that we are "a dime a dozen" . . . that our skills and labor increasingly regarded as someone else's "right" - marketed off by third parties to a entitled public that wants everything for "free". And OBTW, we have a socialist version of Antonio in the White House now - married to a patient-dumping ex-hospital executive no less . . . both of them lawyers without about as much common-man-common-sense as John Edwards . . . who have NO CLUE who we really are and what we are about.
I blogged about my own experience & perspective here and here. They're good posts. Read them if you want to lean something about the physician experience.
The American Board of Pediatrics is based in Chapel Hill. The enlightened & progressive gurus in the ivory towers are well aware of the story of Dr. Mary Johnson in Asheboro, North Carolina.
But in the thirteen years since I fell on my sword for a critically-ill baby, they've turn up their already-stuck-up-noses and done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help. In their book, it's just SWELL for the third-rate executives of two-bit hospitals to bully and abuse Pediatricians who put patients before profit.
In the meantime, wash your hands!
My blood boiled this week when I got a smarmy "Diplomate newsletter" from the ABP's James Stockman patting the Board on the back because roughly 90% of its Diplomates with time-sensitive/expiring certificates "chose" to "re-enroll" in the process (as opposed to giving up their hard-won certification all together) . . . not acknowledging all of the increasingly coercive economic factors that might be compelling those decisions. Hospitals and insurance companies are already requiring MOC/Board certification as a condition of privileges and/or plan participation (well, except for the much older physicians who are "grandfathered" into everything). It is only a matter of time before it's linked to medical licensure . . . and/or used as a weapon to bring doctors into line on Obamacare.
And I've already started to get the phone calls and e-mails and brochures offering one expensive gimmick or another to pass my next "secure exam".
It would be one thing if I believed AT ALL that the ABMS's contortions had ANTYHING to do with improving patient care. But it's all and only about shoring-up a self-perpetuating dog-and-pony show for money. DO THE MATH on 90% of over 9000 Diplomates paying over $1000/pop to RE-certify. Do the math on the cost of all of the "Part 2" activities (which I'm doing anyway for CME) and "Part 4" busy work.
It's just like JCAHO accreditation for hospitals - except that hospitals really run that show. THINK about it. For all of the smoke and mirrors we lowly peons hear about JCAHO having the power to shut a hospital down (as we jump through the survey hoops) . . . how often have you seen that actually happen? It does not PAY for JCAHO to play real hardball with a hospital. Accreditation is about the hand that FEEDS.
And I'm thinking that if ordinary physicians got fed up enough to tell the high & mighties in the ivory towers, "We're NOT going to FEED this anymore!", things would change VERY QUICKLY.
But it's harder for physicians (usually a politically apathetic sort anyway) to network amongst themselve - because for all of the professional dues we pay to various organizations, we are not given easy access to mailing lists.
It's rather like getting your hands on the IRS 990's of "non-profits" . . . the "property of the people" isn't really.
Indeed enrolling in the MOC process last year only re-enforced (1) how thoroughly I had been screwed-over by Randolph Hospital, (2) how USELESS my Board Certification was in terms of reinforcing my expertise in Pediatrics as opposed to the Family-Practitioner-pretending-to-be-a-Neonatologist (thereby protecting me from retaliation for doing my job), and (3) what a JOKE our systems of medical oversight - as embodied by hospital boards-of-directors & peer review committees, medical boards, DHHS and (especially) JCAHO really are.
Nobody really cares about what they say they care about. They're all LYING to the public about what they're actually doing/accomplishing.
In my case, it may help bolster legal claims I hope to press later in the year . . .
. . . given that, when it comes to government/IRS "oversight" I've already lived Obamacare for 13 years.