Go Get’em, AAPS!


As a family doctor who has to do 50 CME credits a year, more yearly bogus educational stuff for my company (both at the hospitals I worked for and at the urgent care), yearly horseshit SAMS, and recertification of my boards (for the third time) soon, I love the AAPS. The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) is suing the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for “restraining trade and causing a reduction in access by patients to their physicians”.  From this Physician News article, they claim the ABMS:

  • Has entered into agreements with 24 other corporations to impose enormous “recertification” burdens on physicians, which are not justified by any significant improvements in patient care.
  • Has a proprietary, trademarked program of recertification, called the “ABMS Maintenance of Certification” or “ABMS MOC”, which brings in many tens of millions of dollars in revenue to ABMS and the 24 allied corporations.
  • Pays prodigious salaries to their executives, often in excess of $700,000 per year. But their recertification demands take physicians away from their patients, and result in hospitals denying patients access to their physicians.

I love it.  Right now they are going after the ABMS.   Please, please, please, go after the American Board of Family Medicine next!   They are a money-churning machine and no family doctor I know likes them or believes in their product.    We all think the recertifications are too costly, too hard (they promise to fail a certain percentage no matter what), the SAMS are stupid, the quality tracking of patients for credit is unproven  and on and on…..and yet we are still prisoner to do what they want.   Man, this whole lack of control thing really is pervasive for physicians, isn’t it?


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Go Get’em, AAPS!

  1. Pat
    May 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I was an active member of AAPS for a number of years, and applaud this effort. Alas, they fought have fought against a lower public profile, an unfriendly media, the same bouts of organizational inertia that afflicts so many groups, and the now inexorable tide of presumption – that health care should be a right provided by government. This has all proved too little and late, but they deserve the kudos for trying.

  2. Kurt
    May 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    F the ABFM. I pity the poor med students they are duping into primary care bullshit. Nothing will change in this country until
    patients are held responsible for their bad habits. Primary care is
    in position to be F—-d royally once payments are bundled and the docs are going to be penalized for readmissions through the fault of the patient.

  3. Bruce Bonanno
    May 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    ABFM is apart of the ABMS isnt it?
    ABMS is the parent organization of all the Boards.
    The other is the AOBMS or the Osteopathic boards.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      I think you are right

  4. Ken
    May 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Those SAMs are terrible.

  5. Jason Valentine
    May 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

    “From the tiny Greece island of Kash, the coast of Asia Minor is four miles away in the mist. Twenty five hundred years ago a hospital and medical school flourished on Kash. The great Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, work there. Legend has it that Hippocrates taught his students in the shade of this plain tree. He welcomed anyone who wanted to learn, so long as they paid his fee. There is another legend that St. Paul stood here and preached the Gospel of Christianity. What isn’t legend is that Hippocrates and his followers started medicine on the road forward to becoming a science. When Hippocrates died at the age of 104, or so legend has it, this island was full of medial people, his students and disciples. Competition for custom was fierce. Some 20 years after he died they got together and constructed a code of conduct. They named it the Hippocratic Oath, after their old teacher and master. Every new physician, before he could start practice, came to this spot back here in front of those columns and took the Oath. The oath was full of fine ideals for protecting the patient. But it also had a couple of other things in it. Listen to this one, “I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own self and those of my teachers and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others.” Today we’d call that a closed shop. Or listen to this one referring to patients suffering from the agonizing disease of kidney or bladder stones, “I will not cut persons laboring under the stone but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work.” A nice market sharing agreement between physicians and surgeons. Hippocrates must turn in his grave when a new class of medical men takes that oath. After all, he taught anyone provided only they pay his tuition. He would strongly have objected to the kind of restrictive practices that physicians all over the world have adopted to protect their custom. In the United States the American Medical Association has for decades been one of the strongest labor unions in the country, keeping down the number of physicians, keeping up the costs of medical care, preventing competition by people from outside the profession with those in it. All, of course, in the name of helping the patient.” – Milton Friedman

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