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    In defense of Sen. Rand Paul

     

    Why does this matter so much to ophthalmologists? Perhaps the NBO’s failure had a lot to do with the fact that Sen. Paul, who was an ABO member from 1995 until 2005, was an excellent surgeon according to his politically oppositely minded colleagues.2 I can’t imagine running a private practice and organizing something like a medical board. 

    What I mostly object to is the tones in which Sen. Paul’s efforts are addressed.

    I dislike that cardiologists are able to recognize a problem with their certification and organize around an obvious monopoly, whereas ophthalmologists fall apart like oil in water at the thought of contradicting the prevailing notion of established attestation. Intimated in our discussions around Rand Paul, is the idea that he was somehow less qualified or was liable to dodging certification.

    The fact that he received ABO certification and that he and the ABO agreed, to some extent, that an ophthalmologist doesn’t even need MOC should be adequate reason to call that idea into question. Besides, have you ever interviewed at Duke? Sen. Paul was accepted to its medical school without a bachelor’s degree and he completed residency there.

    Ignoring his political ideology for a moment, ask yourself: What kind of person, other than someone who is obviously gifted, would match at a top residency, start his own private practice, start his own certification organization, run and win a seat in the Senate, become a libertarian icon and the new face of the Republican Party, and also avoid ABO certification on the basis of ability?

    If we value consistency and honesty, we ought to find a more parsimonious explanation for the NBO/Rand Paul situation. He is a person who is consistent in his political ideology and will implement its natural implications regarding monopoly in his chosen profession. I honestly see nothing wrong with his history at NBO.

    Good for him if he can show the flaws of the ABO, perhaps mend its paths, and make it a more equitable organization by utilizing the only mechanism available to combat monopoly: competition.

    NEXT: Sources

    Zack Oakey, MD
    Zack Oakey, MD, is an ophthalmology resident at the University of California, Irvine.

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    • Anonymous
      This makes total sense. The ABO has had this policy in place now for 23 years and those older ophthalmologists who were part of the old guard are now retired or dead. This leaves the rest of us with a two tiered system. It is high time that ALL diplomates receive the SAME treatment and also that the "MOC" be more reasonable to those of us in mid life with busy personal and professional lives. The ABO is simply an organization of our own colleagues adding to the administrative burden of all practicing ophthalmologists and they can demonstrate NO meaningful benefit to their recent changes to MOC to merit the current system. I have finished 3 cycles of recertification (being in the first year of the non-permanent lifetime certificants) and they can go to hell if they think I'll do it again. All the members of the ABO board should hear from its members and be more accountable for caring on this charade...and that's all it is
    • Anonymous
      This makes total sense. The ABO has had this policy in place now for 23 years and those older ophthalmologists who were part of the old guard are now retired or dead. This leaves the rest of us with a two tiered system. It is high time that ALL diplomates receive the SAME treatment and also that the "MOC" be more reasonable to those of us in mid life with busy personal and professional lives. The ABO is simply an organization of our own colleagues adding to the administrative burden of all practicing ophthalmologists and they can demonstrate NO meaningful benefit to their recent changes to MOC to merit the current system. I have finished 3 cycles of recertification (being in the first year of the non-permanent lifetime certificants) and they can go to hell if they think I'll do it again. All the members of the ABO board should hear from its members and be more accountable for caring on this charade...and that's all it is
    • Anonymous
      This makes total sense. The ABO has had this policy in place now for 23 years and those older ophthalmologists who were part of the old guard are now retired or dead. This leaves the rest of us with a two tiered system. It is high time that ALL diplomates receive the SAME treatment and also that the "MOC" be more reasonable to those of us in mid life with busy personal and professional lives. The ABO is simply an organization of our own colleagues adding to the administrative burden of all practicing ophthalmologists and they can demonstrate NO meaningful benefit to their recent changes to MOC to merit the current system. I have finished 3 cycles of recertification (being in the first year of the non-permanent lifetime certificants) and they can go to hell if they think I'll do it again. All the members of the ABO board should hear from its members and be more accountable for caring on this charade...and that's all it is
    • Anonymous
      Did you ever meet Rand Paul ? his history of unpleasant run ins have been well know through out his career . I think that he is self centered to the point of being unreasonable . His NBO was a failure because of not only the way he went about,but it has always been his way or the highway > i suggest you personally meet up with some people who did work with him including his fellow residents at Duke . > i think your tone might be different > He is very smart but that does not make him a great person and I would predict a very poor and unpredictable president . I think his past will haunt him if he gets into the nomination . Time will tell , but I am certainly one of those old farts that have not retired and am still practicing actively at the age of 65. Somewhere seniority does count and sometimes you can draw the line of when things become a classic and or need new tires-but not always is it right or easy !. I am glad i did not have to recertify but that is for another day !!. IF THIS COUNTRY FINDS RAND PAUL AS PRESIDENT IT WILL BE IN BIG TROUBLE !

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