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Physicians Must Unite Against New Bureaucratic ‘Hassles’ to Practicing Medicine

Physicians Must Unite Against New Bureaucratic ‘Hassles’ to Practicing Medicine

I read with interest the article based on a presentation by Dr. David Hussey concerning physician competency reviews (December 2000). Dr. Hussey, who is president of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), predicts there will be increased assessment of physician competence in the future and that it will have "positive effects on medical training for new and practicing physicians."

I must say that I never cease to be amazed by the quisling mentality of the rear echelon raiders in the ivory towers of our profession.

The reason we are beset constantly by ever increasing volumes of hassle-filled paperwork and ever decreasing revenues, and why the best and brightest in our society no longer choose medicine as a profession, is because of our inability to unite ourselves and, as one body, just stand up and say "No." The idea that we have to roll over and play dead every time some bureaucrat poses some new hassle for us to endure, some new hoop to jump through, is ludicrous.

I found the quote, "Certifying boards can set higher standards than licensing boards because board certification is a voluntary process," particularly inane, or at the very least uninformed. For those of us who live in the trenches, board certification simply means the difference between being able to practice and not being able to practice. This is because third-party carriers, hospitals, and every other species of bureaucrat use these self-imposed standards to decide who sees patients and who doesn’t.

Medicine, in the last 25 years that I have been in practice, has devolved from the Elesian Fields, which we used to strive for during our medical education and training programs, into a walk through a mine field at midnight blindfolded. I think it would behoove us as individuals and as members of the organizations that represent us to think long and hard before allowing any more land mines to be set in our way.

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