Letter: doctors can take back control of medicine

October 8, 2014

A reader suggests that physicians withhold non-emergency medical care from members of Congress and executives of health insurance companies as a way to emphasize their concerns over the problems of healthcare delivery.

It would appear that physicians have no recourse over how their careers are managed except by some non-physician entities. However, I have searched and there does not exist any federal or state laws over who physicians are required to treat except in the ER [emergency room.] 

In the ER, every presenting patient is required by federal law to undergo a medical screening exam. Other than that, physicians can pick and choose who they will treat. If physicians as a group want to make an impact and take back control over the practice of medicine, then we should stop treating members of the House of Representatives, Congress, the administration and all employees of Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies except in cases of emergencies.

We would not be breaking any laws, but the point of our concerns would be loud and clear. I cannot believe that with the level of skill and education they we as a group possess, have allowed these non-physician groups dictate to us the manner that medical care will be applied. ICD-10, [International Classification of Diseases-10th revision], MOC [maintenance of certification], midlevels, tests/procedures/medications being denied, all forced upon us, would seem to be restriction of trade by people who are not medically trained.

We can stop this by not seeing these groups who negatively impact the delivery of medical care. It would not take long. Three months and the federal/state governments would realize that when their employees from the bottom to the top are not receiving medical care, then things would change. We cannot organize or strike, but in a passive way we can take back control to practice medicine in the interests of our patients.

I agree that granting a medical license to those who are not properly trained is not in the best interest of the public. Albeit a medical student has more knowledge than a midlevel, that is not an adequate argument for turning them loose on the public. This constant degrading of the practice of medicine has to stop. It is dangerous and not in the interest of patients.

What has happened to common sense?

 

Lawrence Voesack, MD

 Odessa, Texas

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