Reclaiming our noble profession of medicine and our freedom to practice.
Ours is a David and Goliath grassroots effort to restore the integrity of our profession and the freedom to practice medicine, to eliminate unwarranted, costly, often hazardous government intervention that threatens the health of both physicians and patients.
Despite what the American Medical Association (AMA) may claim, the vast majority of practicing physicians do NOT have a voice in Washington. Instead, we have seen our noble profession lose its moral compass to the influences of money, power, and greed at the expense of frontline physicians.
The AMA is widely misunderstood. Much of the public assumes that the AMA represents physicians, yet less than 15% of practicing US physicians support the organization. Today’s AMA is taxed as a non-profit but they have numerous lucrative corporate interests, with reported assets of $662,412,060.
Nowhere are these influences clearer than with the US physician credentialing system managed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), of which the AMA is a member. The ACGME is comprised of the $662M AMA, the $280M American Hospital Association, and the $452M Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American Board of Medical Specialties with its 24 affiliated member boards whose collective assets approach $1 billion, among others.
The regulatory burdens imposed on physicians in the name of health care safety and quality by these organizations of the ACGME have led to massive profit (and in some cases, even fraud) by some members of these bureaucracies, diverting time, energy and precious resources from patient care. Patients put their lives on the line trusting that their physicians will do what’s best for them. Physicians must be free to provide this care without fear of professional reprisal or intimidation by these organizations that are completely unaccountable to our patients.
Numerous grassroots groups that have strived to protect the patient-doctor relationship have loosely collaborated for years but now are aligned and have gathered under the umbrella of Practicing Physicians of America.
The healthcare we are clamoring for is not an employment bureau for the powerful. It is not a feeding trough for special interests who criticize those who protest with accusations of insensitivity to those in need. Ours is a vision for healthcare that includes such seemingly opposing values as freedom and equality, mercy and merit, caring for both people on the margins and the power of individual choice, and then acknowledges these contradictions and finds the creative middle.