Thursday, August 31, 2017

Who Will Be Dr. Nora's Replacement?

Ladies and gentlemen,

With the cooler temperatures, kids heading back to school, and a new fall season soon upon us, there's excitement building in the air! The much-coveted position at the American Board of Medial Specialties (ABMS), President and CEO, will soon be vacant. In October, 2016, Lois Nora, MD, JD, MBA announced her upcoming retirement in December of this year after six years of leadership and the political jostling for her comfy salary, first class travel, and health/social club membership perks have been underway for some time.

Who will be her lucky successor? For that matter, who might be potential candidates for her position?

This is an important consideration for US physicians who increasingly find their ability to practice medicine compromised by the proprietary ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (MOC®) program. Since working physicians in America have no control over the selection of this lucky person, we can only venture a guess who might be considered. But there have been several recent hints in various media channels who might be throwing their hat in the ABMS-leadership ring. 

Here is a recent sampling:

1) Hal C. Lawrence III, MD - Executive Vice President and CEO of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG)

Dr. Lawrence has demonstrated leadership and political moxie drafting the recent letter reportedly "signed" by 38 state medical societies and 33 medical specialty societies in support of a "re-directed" form of MOC® that helps preserves our current highly conflicted method of "professional self-regulation." Dr. Lawrence has also proven himself capable at helping preserve the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology subcontractor role as test developers for the ABMS if the status quo is continued. For these reasons, Dr. Lawrence appears well on his way as a possible Dr. Nora replacement.

2) Yul Enjes, MD or 3) Eric Green, MD - a.k.a. "The Doctors Who Defend MOC"

Dr. Enjes has first-hand experience with political cronyism in non-profits serving on the ABIM Board of Directors and as former Chair of the American College of Physicians Board of Governors. Dr. Enjes has cleverly laid low on his important role with supporting MOC - until this article - and can't believe state legislators should have a role protecting the doctor-patient relationship when the ABIM's practices of strong-arming physicians to spend $23,607 every ten years for their condo puchases has been so effective. As such, Dr. Enjes seems like a real ABMS team player!

Dr. Green, on the other hand, might be an equally formidable candidate since he appears to be a strong proponent of income distribution in the form of a "minor" MOC "tax on our time to help the public." His convenient ability of forgetting to mention there is no independent proof that MOC® helps anyone except ABMS revenues makes him a strong candidate for Dr. Nora's position, or any other ABMS member board.

4) Richard Baron, MD - war-torn but time-tested President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and ABIM Foundation.

There isn't a handsome salary out there Dr. Baron would refuse without having to see patients and Dr. Baron's former work at the Seamless Care Models Group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to secure MOC® as an (unproven) quality metric gives him a leg up on the other candidates. The only problem now is that Dr. Baron would have to accept a pay cut relative to his robust $849,483/year haul he receives from the ABIM and ABIM Foundation. Still, the ability to spend more time away from the office without the frontline controversy created by the ABIM Foundation's $2.3 million condominium purchase, ongoing anti-trust and physician suits, Cayman Island fund transfers and controversial income redistribution plans using ABIM diplomate testing fees to provide "grants" for various forms of "professionalism" in our nation's medical schools might be welcomed as the heat continues to be applied at the ABIM.

5) Darryl S. Weiman, MD, Professor of Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and author of "Maintaining My Surgical Certification" in The Huffington Post.

Dr. Weiman, who conveniently fails to mention the American Board of Surgery's conflicts in test development for the ABMS in his HuffPo piece, might be a shoe-in for the position since he appears to be facile at spouting veiled threats in the politically liberal US news and opinion media outlets like the Huffington Post. No doubt the ABMS board of directors love hearing him threaten that loss of maintenance of certification would mean "the public may perceive this as a nefarious way for the medical profession to lower its standards." Wow. Powerful stuff that means nothing to real patients. Since Dr. Weiman seems blind to the nefarious ways the ABMS MOC® program discriminates against younger physicians, uses undisclosed strongmen for protection, and promotes the use of our testing fees for their personal use, it's hard to see how such a fine candidate for Dr. Nora's position could possibly be passed over.

It's a crowded field already.

So who will be Dr. Nora's replacement? Will it be one of these folks or someone else? (The ABMS really needs your help deciding. Comments open.)



Anonymous said...

It is hard to believe just how rotten the whole system is...

W.O.R.M. said...

Let's see, what are the job requirements?

1. $$ hungry
2. A lust for power
3. High-functioning sociopathic tendencies (cold, callus, calculating, rule ignoring, devoid of empathy, etc.)

In answer to your question Wes, I'm stumped! They'd ALL make outstanding candidates.

A Chip Off The ABMS Block said...

Whoever the ABMS chooses they will ostensibly "expense" a great deal of money in a national search for the right talent; not searching for a fair and objective CEO, but instead they will find that perfect match that has been in their grooming chair slowly being conditioned and molding/conditioning others for years.

It will be heralded with an announcement like "Baron Brings Nearly 30 Years of Private Practice Experience to ABIM Leadership Role", or some other totally made up nonsense. Truth is the guy was groomed as a corporate shill and government crony since he was in Tennessee from day one. And he was sitting on the ABIM board months before the World Trade Center Towers fell in 2001. That's how long Baron was being 'secretly' groomed. They won't tell you that in their press release!

I really don't like secret societies with hidden political agendas who stuff their pockets and create secret bank accounts to buy luxury mansions on "Park Avenue" while they stiff-arm "we the people".

What a money trip the ABMS has become! said...

It has been a practice to keep an ABMS CEO on the payroll for a year after they leave where they receive a year's salary for little to no actual work. Why is this allowed by physicians and the public? Obviously, the money does not go to patient safety, but only lines their already well-stuffed pockets and offshore hedge fund investment accounts. And just think this organization was intended to be a not-for-profit. Now that is all it strives for--profit and money in the pocket. Nice luxury trips to Venice paid for by physicians and member boards--who get their money from physicians.

Marching Orders said...

It is clear now how and why the AMA ignored the AMA House of Delegates vote to end MOC. NO way when the AMA education programs/initiatives orders come straight from the ABMS!

Insights into the mind and work of and ABMS/AMA insider (the author/co-author is slipped in at the end and happens to be Richard E Hawkins, MD looking to make more splash for the ABMS whil infiltrating the inner chambers of the AMA.

ABMS is scant on biography for the new CEO said...

How do you disappear the record of a medical license from the PA medical board? 1986-2004. Everyone else has a permanent record that does not go away whether one wants it to or not.

The early PA license was captured/preserved by the Virginia DPH here
but the license was not preserved by the PA medical board where it originated. Why? (Enter Richard E. Hawkins

The ABMS does not give much detail about the lost years of the soon to be rich Hawkins. It appears he is doing research and not a practicing physician.

Anonymous said...

Jeez, why did the ABMS CEO elect's license seem to get erased and replaced by another one?