The ABFM is Disgusting and Corrupt

As I have mentioned before, I have retired from clinical medicine. I was a board-certified family doctor for 27 years. I asked the support person at the corrupt ABFM (American Board of Family Medicine) to put my status to clinically inactive and retired. Great. It seems, however, that this does not end my servitude to them. That’s right. Unless I continue to pay them and do their bogus MOC then they will remove me as a board-certified family doc. Thanks for nothing.

Above is the full transcript. See the last entry from me. Izzie immediately ended the chat. I only hope one day that the ABFM is ended. Here it is if you want to see:

I am not sure if it goes anywhere. I doubt it. Please shut this organization down. Please.

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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]

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19 Responses

  1. Kurt says:

    Doug, Once you’re done with practicing the ABFM cans you and that’s the end. Since you’re not going to do MOC anymore and pay extortion fees you are not one of the certified practitioner guild anymore. So bag the idea of remaining “certified”. Oh, If you pay ~$900.00 to the AAFP, they do give you a really cool certificate that says you’re a “life member”. Only problem with me is they sent me the certificate before they sent me the bill so I did what was just………. I stiffed the mother f#ckers and sent no check.
    Yeah, let it go. I did and I’m a bonafide civilian now. Very happy. Maintaining licenses including state and DEA is not Efffing worth it. Let it go and move on. I wouldn’t want to be listed in any directory of the ABFM or AAFP and I hope they die a painful death both. May God condemn to Hades anyone who perverts med students into Family Practice. Worst specialty on earth. O.K. DPC is out there but screw up on geographic location and you’ll go bankrupt.

  2. Bill Ameen MD says:

    So sorry for the loss of your wife. I too got the Lifetime Member certificate from AAFP…I don’t even know where it is now. I needed the journal to keep getting CME so I can keep my license active for local volunteer clinics at the med school I went to and in a nearby community, but they’re closed and doing telehealth only due to COVID. I enjoyed mentoring the med students and noted that the vast majority were going into specialties other than FM. I guess they’re wising up, or owe so much money they can’t get by on FM salaries even working for “the Man.” The smartest thing I did in my career was to build my own office in ‘92 which i’m now renting to an anesthesiologist for a pain clinic!

    • Kurt says:

      Thanks Bill, She passed from a Radon induced lung cancer. We didn’t know it was a problem where we live in Central Illinois. A lot of porous coal underneath us. What a way to find out. She was a nurse and a cigarette never touched her lips. Was only 57 years old and was very healthy and a size 4P before she became ill. October 22nd will be the 2nd year anniversary when we found out she had disease. At least we had 3 months to say good bye. Our house had Radon levels 2 to 4 times higher than the minimal safe level. I of course had it abated and my meters now show it’s 10 times less than the minimal safe level. One has to have a pre-disposed sensitivity to Radon and there is no way to find out if one is sensitive to it. I had prostate Ca in 2016, had surgery and had to have radiation and Lupron salvage therapy. PSA is staying down but that is another reason for me to bail out of medicine. Fatigue is a big factor after being Lupron’d and turned into a eunuch. Walk 5 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes everyday outdoors and that helps combat the fatigue.

      • Bill Ameen MD says:

        Our house in NC had high radon in the basement before we had it ameliorated about ten years after we moved in in 1989. My wife and I are healthy although we’ve had two cats die of cancer living here. Almost feel like i’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I do believe that radon is a common cause of lung cancer in non-smoking women (like Dana Reeve?). It really should be a part of doctors’ history screening like asking about seatbelts or unsecured guns.

        • Kurt says:

          I just had to put down a dilute Calico female who was the sweetest cat we ever had and had a brain tumor that started bleeding out the ear. Originally thought it was an infection. Spent the money for the CT scan to find out and I was able to hold her as the vet euthanized her August 19th. I highly recommend being a part of that experience.
          It was quick and Abby cat was comfortable as she passed in my arms. A nice ending. Abby cat was especially bonded to my wife before Sally passed as she was the one that rescued her. Was 11 years old.

          • Bill Ameen, MD says:

            I should be with the tortoiseshell who sleeps on my lap in my recliner every night if I can, when the time comes. My wife took one of ours with metastatic recurrent breast cancer and held her when she was put down, but I said goodbye to the other (age 11) with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lung, bawling at the door. No courage!

      • Kurt Savegnago says:

        Oh, I didn’t think Radon had anything to do with my prostate CA. I was involved with a family business at a young age and had exposure to a lot of chemicals and solvents. Child labor laws don’t apply if your Dad owns the company.
        We didn’t know back then. I suspect that’s the reason why I ended up with prostate CA. Weirdly, my Dad only had BPH and had to have an open subcapsular prostatectomy. No cancer. He ignored the problem until it was far advanced. Was in his early 80’s and really took 18 months for him to recover from the procedure as it was hard on him at that age. He was always worried he’d be incontinent but things turned out ok for him. I think he had regrets he didn’t get the surgery sooner. Passed away when he was danged near 90 from unrelated causes so had a good, long productive life.
        Family business got me through college and med school so I graduated from all with NO debt. My Dad earlier told me when I was 16 years old, “Son, we don’t care what you do but we’re paying for college and you’re going to graduate.” I said, “Yes sir.” I was smart enough to know I was in a unique situation to get a good education that was being put before my feet.
        He recommended civil engineering as, as long as there are people in this world there will be plenty of s#!t to deal with. I replied I sort of liked biological and chemical sciences and I was looking at medicine. He said, “O.K.” And off I went. I was the first in the family to graduate from college actually “cum laude” (A family friend at my college graduation party said that means, “Cums Late!” Took me a few years to figure out what the “H” he was talking about! I was so freaking naive then.). Went to the U of Illinois Med School which was actually cheaper than my undergrad, Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine U.) at the time. I.B.C. or BenU as they now call it still is a good school for sciences. The next steps would take too long to expound about and could be part of a book so I’ll leave it off here. 🙂

  3. Mamadoc says:

    I’ll bet she did end that chat PDQ. Right there with you. I also date from the Pisacano days (1981) until the end of last year. They sent me a dues statement a little while back. I replied that I have no further use for board certification and that they have taken enough of my money. I did not advise them to go pound sand (but it was hard).

  4. Harrison Hasanuddin says:

    Where is our lobbying group? Ama, aafp? We need to lobby for equal opportunity with one-time ever certification and reduce the ridiculous fee so they don’t keep feeding the CEO of ABFM, AbIm, u name it. Repeat certification is useless and a sham.

  5. Harrietta Christodoulos says:

    I am so sorry you had this interaction.
    It is so demeaning to all of the years you have given of yourself as a physician.

  6. Gary J. Pearce says:

    First of all, do you guys get paid to do these posts?
    I am one of those geriatric physicians with a lifetime specialty certification. I applaud you who have retired as I consider it every time I get a practice related headache- like yesterday when I told my receptionist I would not hire her daughter-in-law nor allow this person whom I have never met cover for her whenever she chose to take a day off…….then she turned around and quit, demanding her time cards (which she had already adulterated adding time handwritten on the back of each card!!!)…answer is “NO”, please leave, then she said she will see me in court then her husband calls the office and says to my receptionist that by the time Friday arrives, I will be without front teeth and then he Facebooks my office manager with 5 lines of skull memes at precisely 9:11 AM. (What a wonderful day in my neighborhood was yesterday!)
    I still cannot get over the fact that my PM company (the supposedly free PracticeFusion, which suddenly became the $99/month PracticeFusion) has notified me that I must procure (that means pay) the AMA (isn’t that a group of/for physicians….check this website for their executive pay:
    for a license in order to “use” their (that’s right they own them!!) CPT codes in order to bill for anything I do in my profession (which is how I put food on the table) and support my employees and pay my bills. My father was an AMA member – I think that was popular in the previous generation. I never was- I was always told that they really did not represent the specialties well….and really their dues were quite expensive and now that I see what they pay in executive salaries and first class travel, etc., they can go to hell.
    My conclusion is they/them/powers-on-high/insurance companies/those-who employ-physicians think they can throw all the shit at us, pay us less every year and force us to do more work every year- much of it non-medical (like documenting why a patient needs a more expensive medicine or a particular test- the kind of things where you just tell the patient that that bad headache needs to be evaluated in the ER since there is no way I can cut the red tape and order the appropriate tests while I have a full schedule (and now we are no longer allowed to write orders on a piece of paper since we are required to log onto the hospital computer and put all orders in electronically- heck, let the ER do it, that is why they have ER’s , right?), demand more documentation/audits/etc., trick patients into thinking we are the ones who are responsible for insurance not properly paying us or we are charging too much or there is something wrong with us because we are “out of network. And we will sit around and accept this because we have huge bills to pay (be it education, be it trying to live above our means, whatever) and we just want to take care of our patients and make them better (and we are not allowed to charge by the time it takes- like lawyers always do). AND THEY WONDER WHY DOCTORS ARE COMMITTING SUICIDE OR RETIRING……and the correct answer is that there will never be enough doctors.
    (my rant of the day)

    • Annie says:

      Dr. Pearce: appreciate your rant…have done something similar myself on occasion, where you run out of breath just trying to read the note….but it calls me to comment — please, take time and take care of yourself. no matter what else is happening in your office or around you, put a ‘closed’ sign on your office door and get outside away from EVERYONE for a while. take a few days. you are too valuable to your family and your patients to lose your perspective on life. murder is simply the flip side of suicide…you lose your life either way. retiring is not the answer either. life is too short….take time to enjoy the journey…

  7. Steve O' says:

    Good for you. It’s just mo’ better Leninism. The Machine rules. You are an ant that outlived its production cycle. Bye-bye.

  8. Celia says:

    ABEM. I stopped MOC 5 years ago after passing boards 3 times. Such a racket— Al Capone could have taken it over. Extortion, strong arm tactics, lies, corrupt. National Board of Physicians and Surgeons.

  9. Bill Ameen, MD says:

    I was Board-certified from the Pisacano days from 1976 to midnight, Dec. 31, 2014 (I retired June 30, 2014). Didn’t even blink when I became “uncertified.” The only regret I have is that when locum tenens offers come they always ask for board-certification, but at least I never had to do MOC. I had colleagues who took the “quizzes” and said they were ridiculous, so I chose not to do them after my last cert in 2007, knowing I would retire by 2014. FYI, I was boarded in Emergency Medicine also, until 2010, and its MOC was EVEN WORSE. Good riddance to all that crap!! I feel sorry for the young doctors but that’s what they’re choosing and they don’t know any differently, sadly.

    • Kurt Savegnago says:

      Same thing here. I retired July 1st 2020 and am doing the Cobra thing for medical insurance. Wife died 1/25/19 so I don’t have to work for medical insurance for her and my autistic spectrum son who is 26, is on Medicaid. I figured why the hell keep putting up with the unpaid call, hospital practice and office practice that is so inefficient due to EHR.

      ABFM stands for Academic Bastids and F#ck!ng Morons!!
      Adjust the words to your taste. As I’ve said, anyone who perverts students to Family Medicine should be condemned to Hades!

      As an aside, I respectfully corresponded with the ABFM and told them to put me on the “retired” list as I am not going back. They also took me off the MOC harassment list although I expect I’ll be dropped from the “A##holed, Board Certified list.” But I don’t giveas#i!t. Shoot, the malpractice provider covers the $32,000.00 tail since I’ve been with them for “so long” and if I indeed went back to practice, I believe I’d be on the hook. I bet Doug is in that position and no doubt will never go back to practice. Glad to hear he has some side gigs to do to keep the money coming in. I had to go to 64 years of age before I could vacate the premises. My violent autistic spectrum son made it so we couldn’t go on vacations so I just saved money!. After puberty, he turned into the sweetest 8 year old in a 26 year old body and no more violent behavior! Glad his Mom got to see that before she died. If it wasn’t for this Covid thing, Chris and I would be taking vacations and going out to dinner for often at some very fine restaurants as he has settled down very nicely since he passed age 22.

      Oh as a second aside, the AAFP (Academic A$$hole$ and F#*king Pr!cks) sent me a bill for almost $900.00 for my “terminal” lifetime membership. I didn’t intend to pay whatsoever as I can put the money to my retirement in a better fashion. The trusting “Bastids” sent me the “certificate” that I was a “LIFETIME MEMBER” in good standing anyways after the bill was sent. Is impressive but effing useless for anything. I’m saving that.

      They did disconnect my AAFP account so I can’t post comments anymore. I can still read stuff and get pi$$ed off but can’t post. No skin off my a$$ as it’s not worth the 900 bucks to criticize a group that is never going to change until they get wiped off the earth if people/students go elsewhere.

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