Saturday, October 06, 2007

Posers


Are you a morally upstanding individual? Do see cardiology patients once in a while? Do you have $300? Can you fill out this simple application?

If you do, it seems you can be "boarded" by the American Academy of Cardiology and wear the prestigious initials "F.A.A.C" behind your name, since you're now considered an "fellow" in the American Academy of Cardiology.

Don't worry if you're not a cardiologist, it doesn't matter. You'll look cool.

You see, it seems the American Academy of Cardiology and the American Board of Cardiology have noting to do with cardiology, the practice of cardiology, medical board certification, or the American College of Cardiology or the American Heart Association - rather, it's they're a "ministry" run by the questionable Rev. A Lasko, MD (as it says on the application). Or is it the questionable Rev. K. Lasko, MD? (as it says on the website?) Gee, I'm not sure. It probably doesn't matter since I could not find any such person to substantiate their existence. It seems his ministry is to spread cardiology to noncardiologists:
The American Academy of Cardiology under the new policy of expanding the specialty of Cardiology to the Internist-Cardiologist, considers that since it is the Internist who actually sees and manages the vast majority of cardiac patients, and under the belief of the new Director that Cardiology is not just the domain of the catheterists, the number of appointments of newly certified Diplomates of the American Academy of Cardiology needs to be expanded, to gain influence in American Medicine and to advance our mission to emphasize and to promote honor, ethics, and humanitarianism in Medicine, and emphasis on the kindness invoked in true religious values and true family values, for the benefit of the public and the advancement of the medical profession.
Just what we need. Someone nice enough to take our money to show the world we can feel good about ourselves as humanitarian souls.

Now if this "group" or individual wanted to promote honor, ethics, and humanitarianism, how about coming clean on this scam?

But it seems it doesn't stop there.

Not interested in cardiology? Want different initials after your name? How about F.A.C.G.S.? That's even longer! It stands for the "Fellow of the American College of Geriatrics Specialists." Here's the College of Geriatric's website with mailing address in Berkley, CA that issues this Board of Geriatrics "certification" and looks about as reputable as the American Academy of Cardiology and is issued by the same K. Lasko, MD. There's only one problem, though: for this extra letter it seems the "organization" (who, by the way, boasts 30 people on their "board" but I could not find their names) wants to set you back $500 rather than $300.

Now I tried to find out who the venerable Rev A. Lasko, MD D. Divinity (Hon), F.A.B.H.P., M.A.B.H.P., F.A.C.G.S., M.A.C.G.S., F.A.A.C. was behind the application. Guess what? I couldn't find this person anywhere on the internet, except these websites. There was only one "Lasko" in Nevada and one in Massachusetts, and neither appeared to be reverends.

But at least I found out what the M.A.B.H.P. stands for here.

-Wes

Hat tip: Gruntdoc.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can learn more about the esteemed Keith Alan Lasko once you have his full name. License to practice medicine revoked in California w3.health.state.ny.us/.../8b27360ef55d44a285256a4a0047dc85/$FILE/lc118699.pdf
Published author of "The great billion dollar medical swindle", and some kind of involvement with ephedrine distribution http://www.epa.gov/EPAFR-CONTENTS/1997/February/Day-07/contents.htm
There are more items I am sure about the dear Rev. Dr... But I have to hurry to fill out my application before he runs out of really neat certificates, fit for framing.

DrWes said...

Anony-
Thanks for the tip. Scary that the application date is from September of this year...

Dr. Mike from Indiana said...

I checked with the ABIM. They have posted a notice regarding "spurious certification boards", The American Academy of Cardiology and the American College of Geriatric Specialists (or whatever Lasko calls it) are not valid boards and Dr. Lasko has public records indicating that he lost his license to practice medicine in California and New York (at least he is well traveled)for.... medical incompetance, performing proceedures without medical necessity (get this... echocardiography, stress testing, carotid us exams, holter monitoring, EGD's, Bronchoscopy, and abdominal US were the listed proceedures) and fraudulent billing. The California case files suggest that most of the testing, and episodes of substandard care, involved nursing home residents.
If that isn't rich enough, The good Dr. Lasko was kind enough develop the American Federation of Medical Specialists to recognize his other organizations (looks like the American Board of Medical Specialists now has some competiton in the the field of recognizing medical specialty organizations).
Oh, by the way... MABHP apparantly stands for Master of the American Board of Hospital Physicians (you guessed it) another of his linked organizations that has no relationship to the Society of Hospital Medicine affiliated with the ACP and the ABIM.

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!!!
If you act now, for $300 you could become a diplomate and fellow of the ABHP, and you automatically get to be a diplomate of yet ANOTHER organization (I really laugh every time I see this one)... The American College of ETHICAL Physicians.
Looking at this route, the "dual credentialing" puts you in good positioning to have them accept your $500 to become a diplomate and fellow of the American College of Geriatric Specialists. After a year (for a fee) you can become a Master of these "esteeemed" organizations.

SO drwes, by my calculations you could spend less than $1200 and add FAAC,FACGS,FAHP,FACEP(err thats Ethical, not Emergency) in about a month.

Look...this Lasko clown is a true egomaniacal scam artist, and I do not condone this activity in any way, but there is already so much ambiguity in the credentials game that it appears to be very easy to get by with these sham organizations.

Example, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is not listed as a recognized member of the American Board of Medical Specialists, and you can board in Sleep Medicine through this organization, or through the ABIM (both are valid, both provide objective and credible certification) but I would personally say that the AASM is the pre-emminant certifying organization for the sub speciality.
Osteopathic Internists trained in accredited Osteopathic internal medicine training programs don't board through the ABIM, but through the American Board of Osteopathic Internists (ABOI)which is not listed as a recognized organization with the ABMS either.

My point is...board certification in a medical specialty from a credible certifying organization is what really counts(no matter which one it is), and I hope that as a profession we are smart enough to know "the real thing when it comes along".
On the other hand
Fellowship in any organization really doesnt imply any greater level of expertise, and is associated with varying degrees of difficulty to obtain (I found it much easier to "earn" my FACC credentials than my FACP credentials).

Yes, the FAAC is a poser, as is the FACGS and the FAHP, but apparently there is a market of "fellowship challenged" doctors who think that any "F...ing" thing behind there names makes them more credible.

It is a shame that we can not all keep in mind that this whole issue has a culinary corelate....
a chocolate cake still tastes good if it is served without frosting on a paper plate, but dog crap is still dog crap even if you put it on fine china and dress it up with whip cream and sprinkles.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Dr. Mike from Indiana

VICTOR said...

Thanks so much for the info and links!

Anonymous said...

Got this bogus letter last month... December 9, 2008 to join the American Board of Geriatric Medicine. I'm a Cardiac Anesthesiologist in Oklahoma and obviously most of my patients are geriatric. The letter sounded insane --$500 for Board Certs? yeh right-- so I wanted to thank you for the research and blog. DON'T BE A SUCKER FOR THIS SCAM!!! I worked very hard for my true boards, this guy should be jailed.

jcamunas said...

I just received a similar letter from "Reverend Doctor KAJ Windsor-Ferrari, MD, Doctor of Divinity."
It offers the American Board of Cardiology Award of Excellence to "very exceptional thoracic and cardiac surgeons..."
The same scam, different "person."
Thanks for posting.
Is there a way one should proceed with notifying a fraud protection agency? Thanks

Jorge Camuñas

DrWes said...

jcamunas -

According to the American Board of Internal Medicine website (http://www.abim.org/news/scam-certification-boards.aspx) - they have asked that they be notified by their e-mail at security@abim.org

Hope that helps.

Andy Berggren said...

Thanks for the info.

It's snail mail spam!

Andy Berggren, MD, FACC

Vascular Med said...

I got this bogus letter from american board of cardiology. Its so ridiculous.
A from UVA

Lisa said...

https://www.4hcm.org/wp/why-it-is-important-to-know-what-those-letters-after-a-doctors-name-mean/

I agree.. this guys has got to be STOPPED!