Friday, January 31, 2014

A Blow to the Self-Regulation of Medicine

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology reversed itself and allowed it's members to treat more cases.  This I think is a case of a FUBAR'd attempt to take a strong and necessary step forward on self-regulation, followed by too much fall back after getting called on some mistakes.  The initial problem was that Ob/Gyns (who are specialists in child birth and women's health) were calling themselves "Board Certified" while doing cosmetic procedures.  To solve it, the Board initially ruled that 75% of someone's practice had to be Ob/Gyn (presumably the rest would be staffing the local ER/urgent care complaints), and that Ob/Gyns couldn't treat men with a few exceptions.  Unfortunately, they missed a few categories, prompting a howl of outcry from two groups:

1) Male (mainly gay) patients with HPV who are at risk for anal cancer (sometimes seen by Ob/Gyns used to treating women at high risk from cervical cancer due to HPV)

2) Male patients with pelvic pain, who are seen by Ob/Gyns used to seeing women with similar complaints

Thus, the board was forced to go back to no limits on seeing men and a "majority" of practice being Ob/Gyn.  Consequently, Ob/Gyns with terrible ethics (one of which was apparently about to sue under anti-trust regulations, according to the article) can continue to call themselves "Board Certified" while practicing medicine they are completely untrained for.  Self-regulation of the medical field takes another blow...