MOC monopoly violates antitrust laws

September 10, 2013

A reader writes that the American Board of Medical Specialties is anti-competitive and wields too much power over the medical profession.

Kudos to Beth Hertz for the fortitude to expose the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for what they truly are: a greedy, tiny, private corporation out to terrorize and coerce us working physicians to fall under their unregulated  control so that we have to pay them forever or will lose our precious board certification status and possibly our insurance contracts. (“MOC: Debate intensifies as Medicare penalties loom,” June 25, 2013.) Who installed them as our lords? Who can check and balance their mandates ?  How can they create this monopoly and stay out of prison?

I  joined the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons because of their federal suit against the ABMS and did not renew my American College of Physicians (ACP) membership as it is clear the ACP makes money off fearful internists who feel they must keep their certification.

 This maintenance of certification scheme is a violation of federal anti-trust laws and has restrained trade. The lead plaintiff is a physician who was fired from a long-standing hospital job after he “failed” a recertifying exam. Perhaps Medical Economics would have the courage  to illuminate this lawsuit in greater detail as most physicians are ignorant of the legal system. I am glad to see that at least your editors are not on the payroll of the ABMS, so keep on printing.

Ken Lee, MD

Olympia, Washington