I’m not a doctor and I don’t have strong opinions about how doctors should be certified or, more to the point right now, what they should have to do to maintain their certification over the course of their careers. But recently this last topic– called maintenance of certification, or MOC– has become the subject of a raging debate within the medical community, as thousands of doctors have expressed their displeasure, to put it mildly, with a new recertification scheme established last year by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the official “certifying” body of a large proportion of doctors in the US. From what I’ve read it appears that the critics of the new system have some very legitimate points and that some big changes will likely be necessary. But in the course of the debate I have been disturbed by some of the arguments that have been used to criticize the new MOC. (Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of attempts to actually defend the new scheme so I can’t give equal time to the other viewpoint.)
Click here to read the full post on Forbes.
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about personalized medicine. There’s a bold idea going around that people should take control of their own healthcare and manage the flood of new data stemming from a whole bunch of new technologies, including, but hardly limited to, personal genomes, biomarkers, wireless sensors, and iPhone ECGs.
…boutique-style healthcare is a lot like organic food, which may taste better and may help a few privileged people feel better about themselves, and may possibly yield a small individual health benefit (though there is absolutely no evidence to show this). However, there is absolutely no chance that organic food can be used to actually feed the vast majority of the 7 billion or so people currently living on this planet.
Similarly, taking control of individual health data will almost certainly allow a few privileged and obsessed people to feel they’re better off than most. It may even improve their health. But, again, more importantly, there is no possibility in the foreseeable future that this self-management of extremely complex personal health data will improve the overall public health of the planet.
Read my entire post on Forbes.