Date: January 18, 2018 at 2:24:18 PM EST
Subject: AAPS vs ABMS
Sir, this is long overdue and I support and applaud you and your team in your efforts!
I have a small story to tell you. I have personally been affected by this whole MOC restrictive trade practice. It has affected my life, my family, and my standing in my medical circles.
I grew up in small town West Virginia. I stayed local in the state of West Virginia for my education. I obtained my undergraduate and medical degrees from WVU and was accepted into my general surgery internship at The Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and then returned to WVU where I continued and completed my excellent Orthopedic Surgery training. After a two year stint as an active duty Air Force Orthopedic surgeon, I returned to my home state of West Virginia and settled in at the largest level one trauma center in the state. No one really wanted to do orthopedic trauma back then as it is now. I have spent most of my career in the state that I love and taking care of the people of this state despite all of the bad press this state gets. It is extremely difficult to recruit to the state of WV and I always felt proud to be a part of the small number of Orthopedic surgeons who call this state home. I have had a great career spending time in private practice, faculty of West Virginia University and faculty of Marshall University. I served as the Chief of Orthopedic trauma at Western Maryland Health System for 3 years before returning to a faculty position at the eastern campus of WVU in Martinsburg, WV at Berkeley Medical Center.
I have been fortunate through the 22 years of my practice by taking great care of people and having never paid out a single dollar in a malpractice claim. Not many Orthopedic trauma surgeons can say that let alone most physicians. I have received numerous awards for great care through the years and have prided myself in always trying to do the right thing. I taught orthopedic residents for 14 years of my career and was always held in high esteem by my residents and colleagues as a “go to guy for issues, questions, or tough cases”.
I am a very busy person, husband, father, surgeon, and athlete. At the age of 54, I still race bicycles all over the country. Over the past several years, life has been hectic and crazy and fun. I maintain all of my CME’s as required and read incessantly to stay on top of technology and teach and lecture often.
I made a personal decision several years ago. I decided to stop participating in MOC knowing that it could bite me one day. My outspoken logic was that I am an excellent technician who has a near perfect tract record, I’ll let this speak for itself. My patients do very well, I am liked by my colleagues and I produce a consistent quality product. Besides, how rediculous is it to have to recertify just for the sake of taking a test. It takes a great deal of time and time away from my family and practice and my life to do such a thing let alone all of the stuff I already to to maintain all of my licenses and CME for hospital credentials. How many times do attorneys have to pass the bar exam? How many times to Dentists have to pass their boards? How many times to CPA’s have to pass the exam? How about all of those nursing administrators….how many times to pass your nursing boards?? There is no improved patient outcome with recertifications. I am completely on board with initial certification as I believe all of us are.
As my certification time was ticking down, I joined the NBPAS and whole heartedly believe and support their mission. I am an active certified Orthopedic Surgeon with NBPAS.
Well, anyway, to the meat and potatoes of this email. I was warned by the CMO and the chief of surgery that in order to remain on staff, I must recertify and that the bylaws do not accept the NBPAS certification. Ok, so, I am without a doubt the best technical surgeon with a huge practice and I am now being threatened of being terminated and losing my academic position. I go from being the “go to guy” to the guy who is given an ultimatum. I chose to hold my ground and I was asked to resign or I would be terminated! If I was terminated, it is a reportable issue to the NPDB. So, now the shame and loss of income and stress of “now what”. So, all of the above….great guy, great hands, super surgeon means nothing anymore because of the stigmata of the MOC and my “loss” of board certification. Hell, even the locums companies turn their noses up at me. I have gone from being the golden boy to being unemployable due to non participation in MOC.
If this isn’t the poster for restriction of trade, I don’t know what is? I have now become virtually unemployable in a state that can barely recruit anyone.
Please let me know how I can help and would be more than happy to help in any way. I would be happy to testify or participate in any activity. The ABMS has created a monster. Let me help you bring is down.
Douglas Tice, MD
11801 Knob Road
Cumberland, MD 21502