Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Physician's Week

William Osler

"When schemes are laid in advance, it is surprising how often the circumstances fit in with them."

"To study the phenomenon of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all."

"The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of tomorrow."

"Common sense in matters medical is rare, and is usually in inverse ratio to the degree of education."

- William Osler
"Physicians Week" has begun but you might not have known it. I suspect most physicians were busy seeing patients and many didn't stop for lunch, or ate what they brought to work while staring into a computer screen, trying to catch up on patient and staff messages, wiping a bleary-eyed tear from the corner of their post-call eyes, and clicking on hundreds of electronic orders placed by others on their behalf. Such is medicine now: an isolating, mind-numbing, depersonalizing series of clicks. It's hard to get excited about a week devoted to you when you can't get all the finger work done. How far we have traveled from the days of Osler's teachings!

Officially, March 30th marks "National Doctor’s Day" in the United States. National Doctor’s Day was started by Eudora Brown Almond in 1933. The date was chosen to mark the date that Dr. Crawford Long, in 1842, first used ether to anesthetize a patient and painlessly excised a tumor from his neck. Mrs. Almond, the wife of a doctor, wanted to create a day to recognize physicians. She did so by mailing greeting cards to doctors and placing flowers on the graves of deceased doctors. The day was later expanded to "Physicians Week" in March 2017 by Drs. Marion Mass, Kimberly Jackson, and Christina Lang who applied to officially have "Doctor's Day" changed to "Physicians Week."

Healthcare today is more complex than ever before. Our role as working physicians is critical to families, individuals, and their loved ones. It is an incredible privilege and responsibility. Yet, we are faced with new and growing challenges, many caused by greed and "the foolishness of yesterday." Much of the last five years of mine has been spent educating other physicians about this issue on this blog's pages.

Despite these efforts, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Maintenance of certification (“MOC™”) requirements and costs continue to grow. They sap our time and resources, making us less available to our patients as we increasingly must "study books without patients." Meanwhile, the organizations behind MOC™ and their substantial resources remain unchecked.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the largest ABMS member board, has recently filed a motion to dismiss the case challenging MOC™ and similar motions are expected in the cases against the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in the next month or two. The boards have legions of attorneys lined up to defend their conduct and millions of dollars with which to pay them. Your contributions, thus, remain critical in our fight.

So take a moment and really reflect on Osler's words above.

In honor of National Physicians Week (and National Doctor's Day), I ask you to help me by donating now to get us to the next stage of the lawsuits against MOC™. If you have already given, please consider giving again, as I have done. And please promote our cause to your friends and colleagues. If each one of us can invite just two or three new donors to read about our fight and contribute, we could reach our latest goal, which is to have 1,000 new donors contribute $200 each. These contributions will go directly to continuing our legal fight against MOC™. 100% of your contribution goes toward funding the lawsuits (less third-party credit card processing fees).

Many have had concerns of repercussions to themselves should they contribute. If you wish to keep your participation private, you can designate your contribution as anonymous too. As before, you also have the option to add a “tip” to help GoFundMe maintain its platform. Any “tip” is entirely voluntary, goes directly to GoFundMe, and will not be applied to our goal.

For those wanting to send a check in lieu of using the GoFundMe page, please earmark your check for "Legal Fund" and send it to:

Practicing Physicians of America, Inc.
876 Loop 337, Building 101
New Braunfels, TX 78130

We could not have reached this point without you, and I hope you will continue to help in the fight to take down MOC™ -- for your own benefit and the benefit of your patients.


(aka, Westby G. Fisher, MD
Member, Executive Board
Practicing Physicians of America, Inc.)


P's and Q's said...

Politics of Quantification (What was lost in the digital bureaucratic bean shuffle?)

ABIM has devolved from an alleged non-pecuniary organization of physicians involved in enhancing the quality of care into a power-crazed/money-hungry corporation. The ABMS/ABIM and their partners are now primarily involved in pushing their proprietary MOC® "quackery" and hypocritical partisan "propaganda" down everyone's throats.

In the reign of quantity the social engineers/professional medical politicians who warned of a quality chasm and preached a solution in the end only created a bigger chasm for healthcare to fall into. And its filling up with their foul political water.

Taking The Bull By The Horns said...

MOC is one of the biggest hoaxes ever propagated in the history of American education.
If not for the money and politics riding on this obscene high stakes Ponzi scheme, MOC would have been gone decades ago.

Anonymous said...

MOC should have been gone years ago -- right out of the bullshit chute.

Anonymous said...

Have we degenerated into being little more than PR conmen, eager to lie and disseminate propaganda about healthcare, while inventing harmful requirements and mandates concerning the continuing education of our physicians? Are we as a (medical) society publicly displaying to the rest of the world the lack of national responsibility and accountability that seems to permeates the current American establishment and the elements of its powerful shadow government -- pseudo-regulatory bodies that have by hook or crook taken root tenaciously? Of particular concern are those "regulatory bodies" that have become little more than self-serving special interest proxies. I'm speaking primarily about the American Board of Medical Specialties, but especially about its flagship member the American Board of Internal Medicine?

Anonymous said...

Who is reporting on the lawsuits against the ABMS and medical specialty boards and is it objective journalism? Or is it primarily commercial marketing? Is investigative journalism allowed by editors/owners. At this point I don't see any digging into any of the allegations among the publishers marketing their digital print to the medical community.

C O I said...

I noticed one journalist reporting on the ABIM lawsuit formerly worked for the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. These two organizations, the AMA and ACP founded the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1935-37 and has financial stakes in selling MOC products to physicians. Both membership societies also appear to make a market for themselves in publications/research about "physician burnout" and the new technologies that will save doctors from the ills of being overburdened with bureaucratic and corporate mandates.
Some of those at the AMA and ACP marketing "joy" have conflicts of interest in serving as advisors for related tech companies, while being employed by the AMA and ABIM. (Or acting as board members/trustees.)

At the core of much of the current profit machine and burnout are caused by the Electronic Health Record and MOC with all the data registries that are springing up left and right to monetize and capitalize on all the data that is being collected, stored and analyzed.

Anonymous said...

Walter Bierring (founder ABIM, ABPM, pres. AMA, FSMB) met with Osler in Oxford abstract to article below. For those interested in history and medical organizations. Osler did not see eye to eye with Flexner and Bierring had a major disagreement with Flexner over conflicts of interest that caused the latter gentleman to change his venue of practice/work.

Pearson Vue Computer Adaptive TestingFlashback 2011 said...

From CATEYES and CAT to PCAST and Ca-MST

Does ABIM/ABMS have a secret surveillance/data collection program in place? Why the testing process and actual testing of physicians will not be released for audit/review/scrutiny by independent parties.

ABIM Hypocrisy and Non Sequitur said...

The ABIM On Illegal Guns and Violence Inflicted on Citizens