Internists and subspecialists in medicine everywhere should wonder why.
The reason posited by the ABIM was the following:
"These historic governance changes recognize that although ABIM is of the medical profession, our primary responsibility is to the public, to our patients," said Dr. David H. Johnson, Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors (editor's note: very strange quote, if I might say). “ABIM's obligation is to ensure that our policies and programs are meaningful to both physicians and patients. Without the public voice, we don't have the full picture we need to meet that obligation and fulfill our mission.”What could possibly go wrong?
Once again, we see the insidious creep of the ethic of caring for the collective superseding the ethic of caring for the individual. Rather than physician organizations fighting tooth and nail for our patient's best interests in our new hostile environment hellbent on either cost savings or profiteering, the ABIM has acquiesced to a more "socially-conscious" ethic that places the needs of a certain collective (perhaps one that funds the organization?) before the needs of our individual patients and their doctors. Is this just so they can remain politically relevant?
Perhaps this move is in preparation for the deployment of the mostly non-physician Independent Payment Advisory Board that will begin to make health care rationing decisions on the basis of "cost-effectiveness" in 2015. Perhaps it is so the doctors-members of the ABIM can feel better about their their abandonment of their physician membership in favor of appearing "inclusive" as they become a money-making CME-granting body.
Either way, doctors should understand whom the ABIM has officially abandoned with this governance change in spite of the spin: our patients.
And that, quite frankly, is a shame.