Folks, my December column concerned the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the Maintence of Certification program.  This is not unique to my specialty.  In fact, the American Board of Medical Specialties has enormous influence, and in total rakes in some $300,000,000 per year across all specialties.

I understand the need to prove our competency.  I didn’t mind my original exam and I didn’t even mind the test every ten years.  But as any physician knows, it is getting out of hand.  The cost, and the requirements, are becoming substantial.  We’re told, ‘oh, it’s just $100 here or $1000 there, just an afternoon here or a day there,’ but all of it adds up to costs in an already costly era, and it costs time which is more precious by far.

Already we have medical boards, hospital administrators, JCAHO and CMS breathing down our necks as if we,  physicians, were little more than criminals on work release.

So what I’m asking is this.  If you’re frustrated by your certification board’s requirements, whatever your specialty (or even if you’re in nursing or a mid-level provider), send me a note, a link, a comment.

ABEM may get the idea I’m the only squeaky wheel.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s begin to rise up.  We pay money to our boards…aren’t we customers? Do they care about customer service?  We’re taxpayers, don’t we deserve respect from the government panels that we fund?

We can’t go on like this.  Send me some love so I can pass it on at the appropriate time!

Fight the power, people! Fight the power!


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