Today I opened an e-mail dated 4 October 2012 from the Heart Rhythm Society that announced the 2013 Keynote Speaker at the Heart Rhythm Society's Opening Plenary Session 8 May 2013 in Denver, Colorado : Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Our society's justification for this speaker reads as follows:
"President Clinton remains an influential international figure. His passion for improving lives through innovation and activism positions him as the perfect complement to our program, as we celebrate how our pioneering past is shaping our promising future."
No doubt Mr. Clinton will improve the news coverage of the Heart Rhythm Society's meeting. Controversy always does.
But to present a political figure rather than a scientific figure as keynote speaker speaks volumes of how medicine has changed (and continues to change) in America. Unfortunately, rather than offering a point-counterpoint discussion with Mr. Clinton, heart rhythm specialists who are already reeling from the DOJ's unusual intervention into our field will be treated to Mr. Clinton's views on "innovation" (and no doubt "arithmetic") in health care.
Perhaps the Heart Rhythm Society should offer another retired politician from the opposite side of the political aisle to debate Mr. Clinton and call the Opening Plenary Session in Denver "Debates, Part II." At least then the audience there could weigh the opposing views on "our promising future" in health care and innovation independently and objectively.