Your AMA and Their Good Work by Pat Conrad MD

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Sometimes a commentary just writes itself: “The AMA’s delegates defeated a resolution that asked the organization to put a moratorium on Maintenance Of Certification until it was proved to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.” The July issue of Family Practice News headlined some blather about insulin in primary care, and buried this jewel on page 4.

The AMA delegates – cowardly, worthless, out of touch, please quote me! – couldn’t even pass a resolution to tell the American Board of Medical Specialties to quit screwing doctors, ironic, given that you might think the AMA wouldn’t want the competition. But no, the AMA is happy to back this ancillary group of enforcers in keeping the thumb pressed on the lives and livelihoods of U.S. physicians.

AMA delegates voted to:

– Explore the feasibility of studies to evaluate the effect MOC requirements and Maintenance of Licensure have on “practice costs, patient outcomes, patient safety, and patient access.” (It will cost time, money, have no effect on patient outcome, make me hate this job even more, and reduce access because of the time, money, and energy it will subtract from my work year – that and the time spent drinking).

– “Work with the ABMS to collect data on why physicians choose to maintain or discontinue board certification” (Docs who do maintain it by and large do so because they are forced to, in order to make a living. Those who discontinue do so because they can, and because there is no pride in ownership at the point of an economic gun. It’s not fun, and has no value for the vast majority of physicians. Otherwise, it’s great).

– Oppose making MOC a condition of medical licensure. (Here my head explodes, noting that two paragraphs before, these bastards are evaluating that very thing).

One voice of dissent, Dr. James Goodyear from Pennsylvania, noted that practicing physicians “are increasingly burdened.” His view is rebuffed by delegate Dr. Darlyne Menscer, who stated that a moratorium on MOC “would put a wedge in the close working relationship the AMA has had with the ABMS.”

I’m sure the tens of thousands of practicing physicians nationwide are thrilled to know that they are shelling out hundreds of dollars each yearly, along with however many hours not doing something useful like sleeping or changing the air filters, in order to keep a close relationship between two quasi-government organizations whose primary, shared purpose continues to be justifying themselves by screwing physicians.

57520cookie-checkYour AMA and Their Good Work by Pat Conrad MD