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Dr. Paul: Not board-certified, but self-certified

Libertarian ideology rejects most of the modern regulatory systems that protect consumers, because everyone should be responsible for determining whether the hamburger contains E. coli on his own. But does that do-it-yourself dogma apply to the regulation of medicine, too? If you’re Dr. Rand Paul, practicing ophthalmologist, the answer is emphatically yes.

According to an amusing story in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Republican Senate candidate bills himself as a “board-certified” physician even though he is not actually certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology — the only recognized body that certifies doctors in his specialty.

Paul’s only certification was provided instead by something called the National Board of Ophthalmology, which is very convenient because he operates that organization himself. As the Courier-Journal explains drily, the American Board of Ophthalmology, which maintains a fully staffed headquarters in Philadelphia, has existed for roughly a century and currently lists about 16,000 doctors on its rolls. (Most hospitals and insurance companies strongly prefer doctors who are board-certified because certification indicates that they have kept up with changes in technology, best practices and so on.) The National Board of Ophthalmology has existed since 1999, when Paul “founded” it, lists no more than seven doctors, and its address is a post-office box in Bowling Green, Ky. He had claimed to be certified by both boards, but Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth quickly discovered that claim was false.

When Gerth tried to ask Paul why he claims to be board-certified when he isn’t and why he set up the National Board of Ophthalmology, the candidate stonewalled:

“I’m not going to go through all that right now,” Paul said while at the Great Eastern National Gun Day Show and JAG Military Show, in Louisville. Asked when he would talk, Paul said: “Uh, you know, never … What does this have to do with our election?”

Gerth replied in his column in Sunday’s Courier-Journal, after Paul’s campaign manager said he would only answer questions in writing. His explanation is pithy and his questions seem almost too reasonable:

Rand Paul misses the point. He is right that the questions about his National Board of Ophthalmology have nothing to do with issues of national policy.

They have nothing to do with the federal debt. They have nothing to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. And they have nothing to do with plans to shutter the U.S. Department of Education.

They have to do with trust.

Patients have come to expect that a doctor who holds himself out as a “board certified” specialist, as Paul does, meets rigorous standards created by an independent body?

And, if the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists don’t recognize Paul’s National Board of Ophthalmology, exactly what are the standards required for certification by that board?

You can find the requirements of the American Board of Ophthalmology at www.abop.org. Paul’s group maintains no such website.

Raising even more questions is that when asked more than a month ago which board he was certified by, Paul incorrectly said that he is certified by both his own group and the widely recognized American Board of Ophthalmology.

Though we won’t provide Paul with a full list of questions, we will present a few of them here, just so you know a little bit about what we’re looking for.

What does the National Board of Ophthalmology certification process require? Does it require additional continuing medical education classes — over and above what is required by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure — like the American Board of Ophthalmology requires?

Do doctors have to take a proctored exam to earn or maintain their certification? If so, what does that exam entail and who wrote the test?

The American Board of Ophthalmology recertification process costs about $1,500 every 10 years. How much does the National Board of Ophthalmology charge, and where do any proceeds from the organization go?

Those questions aren’t that tough. Neither are the rest of them we’d like to ask.


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HMOs, drug companies and the

HMOs, drug companies and the AMA have a monopoly on healthcare. Customers should be able to make their own choices when it comes to doctors and FDA suppressed medications.

Why shouldn’t Americans be free to choose whatever healthcare provider they want? For those people who live in fear that they might choose a quack to do their brain surgery, the fact is that even today people don’t select physicians by blindly picking out a doctor from a list of licensed physicians in the telephone book. They rely on recommendations from their doctor, their friends, Internet ratings, and private certifying agencies.

Licensure is the key to the control that the medical profession can exercise over the number of physicians…. The American Medical Association is in this position. It is a trade union that can limit the number of people who can enter. America’s healthcare system is actually based on socialism, economic control, and regulation rather than on “free enterprise.”

Why wouldn’t there be a healthcare crisis given all this statism? The fact that the United States is mired in never-ending healthcare crises is perfectly understandable once one realizes that America abandoned the finest healthcare system in the world — one based on free enterprise, free markets, and voluntary charity — in favor of a system based on socialism, interventionism, and control.

Medical licensing and the case against it, follow the link.

I am confounded by medical jargon and . . .

legal-speak. Certification. Licenses. Sometimes they have merit; sometimes they are suspect.

I don't know what to think about this--

This and the obamacare debacle are giving me a headache--

life could be simpler--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Should read, "WAS board-certified, NOW self-certified."

Fact-check this stuff.

Re Rand Paul certification,

aside from the fact that, yes, he was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, for a decade, you'd think that this issue was about his not being properly licensed to practice opthalmology, when (as per the article linked by Nonna below), "Neither group has anything to do with medical licensure, which is handled by state boards." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/14/rand-pauls-doctor...

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

The details don't really

The details don't really matter because the smear tactic of the moment is to attack his credibility. Obviously, Rand needs a dogged and bloodthirsty press liaison to go after smears before they spread.

This BS issue was brought up when he first ran for Senate

and was addressed by Dr. Paul at that time. The issue now is "why are you even bringing that up here at this time?" What does that bs non-issue have to do with property rights, individual liberties, mandated healthcare, entering homes without warrant, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc......?

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

I disagree. Rand and his

I disagree. Rand and his supporters need to have a truthful and understandable answer that won't be twisted under cross-examination to fit the "he's a liar and he plagiarizes" narrative they are building against him.

Here ya go...


Notice the date?

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

from wiki ...

And yes this is plagiarism ...

"Following completion of his medical training, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling Green in 1993,[20][21] eventually opening his own medical practice, in which he specialized in corneal disease and glaucoma.[12][21][22] Paul faced two malpractice lawsuits between 1993 and 2010; he was cleared in one case while the other was settled for $50,000.[21] As a member of the Bowling Green Noon Lions Club, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to help provide eye surgery and exams for those who cannot afford to pay.[23]
Paul passed the certifying examination of the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1995, entitling him to describe himself for 10 years as a "board-certified" ophthalmologist. In 1992, the century-old American Board of Ophthalmology, which in 2010 listed 16,000 ophthalmologists on its rolls, had begun requiring physicians to recertify every 10 years; prior to that, no limits had been placed on duration of certification.[24] In 1997, in protest of the American Board of Ophthalmology's decision to grandfather in older ophthalmologists and not require them to periodically recertify in order to maintain their status as board-certified practitioners, Paul, along with 200 other ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology to offer an alternative ophthalmology certification system.[25] The National Board of Ophthalmology was incorporated in 1999, but Paul allowed it to be dissolved in 2000 after failing to file required paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State's office for the organization to continue to operate. Paul later recreated the board in September 2005, three months before his original 10-year certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology lapsed.[20] Since then, Paul has been certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, with himself as the organization's president, his wife as vice-president, and his father-in-law as secretary.[24] The National Board of Ophthalmology is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association,[24][26] or the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.[27]"

"And yes this is plagiarism ..."

hahaha That's awesome.

I'd trust Dr. Paul to check my eyes any day - he has already helped me see and I've never even met the man.

They're not "tough questions" you're right. They're "Annoying"

They're Annoying questions...most of them.

For example, I really don't give a rat's ass how much the test would cost if there is one. That's way off base here. You can do your own research or directly ask one of the 7 other 'board members' you've already admitted that you know he has. Irrelevant information.

Because what you want to know is whether or not you can get away with accusing Rand of dishonesty. If we're looking there then there is only one question. That is, "did you claim to be certified by the other board at a time when you have never been certified by that board?; did the certification lapse?;" Then, if answered in the negative still, "did you state that you were 'board certified' knowing that the phrase might be mistaken for the other board?; was it a more innocent deception?"

Before you go on, I am aware that Rand has performed a lot of service for people who wouldn't normally be able to afford decent health care. Unless you find me a person who has received poor services, you really are out to slander a charitible christian person.


Certificate valid indefinitely

Maybe Salon can report on this. This is taken from the American Board of Internal Medicine (www.abim.org)

Do a doctor lookup and you'll see some of these:

"Certificate valid indefinitely

Certificates awarded in Internal Medicine prior to 1990 do not require renewal. However, ABIM encourages all diplomates voluntarily to renew certificates relevant to their practice."

Looks like the senior doctors got themselves 'grandfathered' in. What a scam!