Your voice: Time to fight ABMS power creep

November 14, 2018
Volume 95, Issue 22

Opinions from our readers.

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Have physicians failed to learn anything from the history of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)? How it steadily increased its authority over physicians’ lives in ways that physicians never intended at its creation almost a century ago? Would physicians ever have supported the ABMS if they knew that their board certification had an expiration date-that they would have to be recertified?

The ABMS maintenance of certification (MOC) policy is misguided. It undermines the very legitimacy of the ABMS and the credibility of its leadership.

I can think of no greater arguments against MOC.

Edward Volpintesta, MD
Bethel, Conn.

 

Why I switched to urgent care

Like Dr. Sean McNeeley (“What’s behind the growth of urgent care clinics?” September 10, 2018), I first dipped my toes into the urgent care waters for some extra income in April 2016. I had been in full time family practice for nearly 23 years at that point. I was tired of working harder and harder, seeing more and more patients, and making less money. I was also constantly inundated with paperwork like physical forms, FMLA and other disability forms, prior authorizations, DME requests, and the like.

My experience in urgent care was remarkably different. I spent my shifts treating patients, and that was it. No insurance hassles. No pre-certifications. No pharmacy callbacks. And zero paperwork beyond a school or work note excusing someone for the day.

On top of that, I was earning significantly more for my time. Eventually, I transitioned from per diem work to part-time and ultimately to full-time at urgent care, leaving my family practice for good in September 2017.

A year later, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I’m earning the most I’ve ever made and have the least stress and aggravation I’ve ever had since going into practice 25 years ago. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

Steven Gitler, DO
Cherry Hill, N.J.

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