Just Drive Faster by Pat Conrad MD

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“I guess what we do is just drive around this circle here” – Clark Griswold, “European Vacation
As the summer hits high gear, we hit one of my favorite mileposts of the calendar, the annual changing of the AMA president.  The old guy gives his farewell editorial in the American Medical News, and we get a feel-good on the incoming champion.
The latest farewell reads, really, like every other one for the past few years and as much as anything hewed to the summer vacation theme, namely, National Lampoon’s “European Vacation.”  Okay, it wasn’t a very good flic, and certainly the worst of the franchise.  But it did have Chevy Chase & family stuck on a London roundabout for hours, ending up exactly where they began, giving a perfect model for an outgoing AMA president.
In his adios address, AMA prez Jeremy Lazarus, MD waves the company flag from the balcony, reiterating the AMA to be the “voice of America’s physicians”, and an “amazing organization.”  This year’s accomplishments:
– Helped organize physician organizations to petition Washington for greater gun controls (more government).
– After the Supreme Court affirmed Obamacare but not a mandatory Medicaid expansion, the AMA “mobilized to … assure access” (more government).
– Advocated to eliminate Medicare’s Sustainable Grow Rate payment alchemy, with the usual result (no fix, more government).
– Established a $10 million grant-funded medical education initiative, to be doled out to selected med schools (Where does the grant money come from, private endowments, government grants, or AMA coffers?  The AMA site doesn’t specify, but it will certainly strengthen the ties between the professional medical lobby and the Ivy Tower, both of which have their strings pulled by government).
– “Improving health outcomes initiative” in which the AMA has taken a renewed, heroic stand against heart disease and diabetes, partnering with the Dept. of HSS, and CDC respectively (more government, more government… Because U.S. physicians didn’t know they were supposed to treat these problems, or maybe they were just too busy trying to pay for AMA-advocated EHR’s to counsel their patients regarding these problems).
– Laughably, the “third strategic focus”  enhancing professional satisfaction and practice sustainability, is “progressing” (which is a lot funnier than anything in “European Vacation.”
Prez. Lazarus winds it down, assuring his colleagues that “physicians want and demand a strong and effective AMA…we have accomplished a lot during the past year, but the AMA’s work is far from over..”  And so, another circle on the D.C. roundabout, unsure of how to exit, but really, really proud to be there.
No, there’s really no new info, just a reminder that summer is here, once again.

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] 

  1 comment for “Just Drive Faster by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Maria in Oregon
    July 10, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Hey, I actually liked that movie! Especialy the stuff about England – it was spot on! Documentaries about cheese? YES! Apologetic bicyclists you’ve just run over? YES! Bed and breakfasts where you share a bathroom with a dozen others? YES! Roundabouts? YES! It made me laugh because I’ve lived there, and it is so true!

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