It’s not easy working in the medical field. You are accountable for everything, you are required to document everything, and it all can be made public. That’s the level of transparency we demand of people who take responsibility for health and lives.
That goes double if you’re running for public office. You can assume that anything you’ve ever said or done may be used against you. Inflating your credentials is a bad strategy.
You wouldn’t trust a guy who has a bunch of ‘Rollodex’ watches pinned to the inside of his coat, would you? Should a doctor be above suspicion?
Apparently there is no reason one doctor or a few can’t call themselves a ‘board’, certify themselves, and print up a fancy diploma to hang on the office wall.
Dr. Rand Paul took the liberty of bypassing the credentials most opthamologists seek and created his own board instead.
Along with his wife and father-in-law, Paul founded the National Board of Ophthalmology because the American Board began requiring physicians certified after 1992 to be recertified every 10 years to make sure they were keeping up with medical trends.
The Paul campaign issued a statement Saturday afternoon, saying: “The National Board of Ophthalmology is a non-profit group involved with continuing education and board recertification. It was formed in 1987 by over 200 young ophthalmologists who believed that all ophthalmologists should be recertified. … NBO began recertifying in 2002. It is a completely volunteer organization that pays no salaries.”
According to records with the Kentucky Secretary of State, the organization was first incorporated in Kentucky in 1999. On records in that office, Paul is listed as “owner/president” on some forms and “president” on others.
Asked what requirements the National Board of Ophthalmology has for recertifying doctors, Paul’s wife, Kelley, who is listed on forms as the group’s vice president, said: “I’m not involved in that. I’m not officially talking about that today.’”
Rand Paul did respond to the Courier-Journal story…
Rand Paul, Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee, responded to Sunday’s article in the Courier-Journal about his National Board of Ophthalmology, explaining why he formed the group and accusing the more established American Board of Ophthalmology of a “kind of hypocritical power play.”
I don’t know if going on the offensive is the best strategy for his campaign, but maybe he can rally support among citizens concerned about the hypocritical power of medical credentialing boards.
Some time back, I was researching childhood vaccines, and came across some surprising statements from the American College of Pediatricians. I then discovered that the ‘College’ was a small organization founded in 2002, and the recognized national board is the ‘American Academy of Pediatrics’. The ‘College’ is greatly concerned with the dangers of homosexuality. The ‘Academy’ is advocating for access to health care for all children.
I wrote about this a while back, here. The post includes a link to ‘Pam’s House Blend’. Pam covered it because she is in a same-sex marriage, which is the kind of thing that the ‘College’ is organized to lobby against.
So it’s too bad that a fancy diploma on the wall might be fresh from the home printer, but there you go. It’s buyer beware, even when you’re dealing with a surgeon. If you can’t follow the rules, then quit, form your own club, and hope no one notices the difference. It’s legal, but it says something about character. Draw your own conclusions, and don’t buy any Trojan Horses.