Social Accountability


“The nation’s graduate medical education (GME) programs should be required to adhere to social accountability standards to promote the production of a physician workforce that meets the needs of local communities, as well as the country at large.”

You are probably like me in that when you read that you had to read it again and still ask yourself what the hell are they talking about.  Well, a study conducted by researchers at the AAFP’s Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care and published in the September Journal of Graduate Medical Education is explained here on the AAFP website:

The study, which was based on interviews with 18 stakeholders from GME training sites, government agencies and health care organizations, identified what GME programs should be providing, how they should be held accountable and what that accountability should entail. 

Sounds eerily like administralian (the language of administrators) to me.  I like the way they use the word accountable multiple times.

“The aim of the study was really to highlight the idea that there should be some accountability, to talk about it and to define it,” said family physician and lead study investigator Anjani Reddy, M.D., a former Larry Green Visiting Scholar at the Graham Center.

Yeah, I think we got that.   It is important to be accountable, Anjani.  Go on.

“We realized before doing the study that there is no real definition of accountability or social accountability within graduate medical education,” said Reddy. 

Ahhh, there you go.  There is no great definition of accountability.   So how do we fix that?

Study participants also noted that educating physicians to provide high-quality care is a key accountability measure. 

Perfect!  We use another term, quality, to explain accountability.  Quality, as you know if you have ever read this blog, is indefinable as well.   So to summarize, a bunch of ivory tower, no nothings, who are not in the trenches, decide to do a study because they are bored and use a few administralian terms like accountability and quality and we end up with a politically correct waste of time.

I am embarrassed that I even blogged about it.  My apologies.

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] 

  4 comments for “Social Accountability

  1. Andy
    September 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Any study, memo, presentation or article that uses the word “stakeholders” will, by definition, be politically correct, convoluted, impossible to understand and subsequently of no benefit to those of us in the real world.

  2. Pat
    September 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”

    This quote from “Atlas Shrugged” demonstrates the difference between rules and guidelines. Anyone can follow a rule – but guidelines, like nebulous terms e.g. “Quality”, “accountability”, are there to keep their target objects in a perpetual state of obligation. That physicians can be presumed to subject to “social accountability” is a marvelous example of what a fundamentally dishonest pursuit medicine has become. Ditto, Sir Lance.

  3. Ken
    September 21, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Another reason why no one wants to go into/stay in family practice. These idiots really don’t have a clue.

  4. Sir Lance-a-lot
    September 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Hideous. As usual.

    These people are ruining (have ruined?) the practice of medicine.

    Not sure about the rest of you out there in TV land, but I’m trying to find another line of work that’s less screwed up. Considering my debt burden and consequent income requirement, it’s harder than it looks.

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