Editorials from the Executive Medical Director

Irreverent opinions: Can I Yelp you?


August 17, 2015

If you don’t know what Yelp is — ask your next patient between the ages of 20 to 45. Chances are they not only know Yelp but have even “Yelped” some themselves. Have you been “Yelped?” Do you care?

Yelp is a crowd-sourced review site that has just joined the non-profit investigative news organization, ProPublica, to provide a feature called “About this Provider,” reviews. USA Today has the cold, hard facts: “As the healthcare industry experiences a digital boom, 77% of consumers begin their healthcare search online, and 45% read online reviews before booking an appointment, according 2015 Healthcare Consumer Trends survey.” 

Irreverent opinions: The College Is nothing but a bunch of frat boys


September 21, 2015

That’s right, you heard it here. Maybe I should be more politically correct and say that the College has a bunch of frat girls, too.

The worst is that frat boy down in Houston, Texas, David Engler, MD, FACAAI. He had the audacity to correct me on my ICD-10 coding in the last College Insider email. Ok, David, you were right – code V9107XA was incorrectly pictured as the code for fire injury on burning water skis. It should have been fire injury on burning jet skis. 

Excuuuuuuse me!

Perhaps my antipathy towards frat boys is rooted in my being overlooked during freshman rush in college. It is true that I didn’t have enough money to buy shoes or deodorant, but just being barefooted strikes me as inadequate justification for being passed over by THE Lamar University Delta Delta Delta boys.

Irreverent opinions: Worried about certification? Form your own board


April 22, 2015

When ophthalmologist, senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul got crosswise with his ophthalmology board a few years ago, he simply formed his own board. That’s right. With a full membership of two and a P.O. Box mailing address, “Rand’s Board” of Ophthalmology was in business. Did it hurt him? Did it ruin his academic status? I guess we will never know until he goes back to street medicine one of these days, but he practiced 18 years.

Irreverent opinions: We got it wrong; we are sorry


February 25, 2015

That’s the message from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). It sounds like they’ve been getting pretty good crisis management public relations advice and decided to bite the bullet. It’s sort of a Kardashian approach that works in Hollywood, but not for serious issues, such as international relations or MOC.

Saying you’re sorry seems to be the same as accepting responsibility in the new age. People are sorry for criminal acts, they are sorry for bad tweets, and they are sorry they violated some rule or another. Saying you are sorry is the first step in the rehabilitation of the image.

Irreverent opinions: What to give your patients for Christmas


December 23, 2014

What do you get for the patient who has everything? It’s almost as hard as finding something for your spouse. They know you love them, but they still want some tangible evidence of caring.

How about food? Nah, they’ll trash your waiting room and it’s just your luck a peanut cookie will sneak through — and cause a disaster. Spike the food, and move on.

Clothing? Nah, just like your spouse, patients are hard to fit and change sizes all the time. Forget the clothes. (Although I am still thinking about a free T-shirt extolling the benefits of allergy relief with my phone number, Twitter handle, maybe my photo. Hmmm … I  might have to reconsider.)

Irreverent opinions: The College witnesses the birth of the specialty in India


November 25, 2014

The Medical Council of India announced to a joint delegation of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Indian Origin (AAAII) recently in Delhi, India, creating the foundation of a formal specialty of allergy and clinical immunology in the world’s largest democracy.

“It’s the realization of a dream,” notes Jayesh Kanuga, MD, FACAAI, former president of AAAII. “We would like to acknowledge the important role of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The College has stood by us from the beginning.”

Irreverent opinions: What the College told the ABAI


October 22, 2014

Finding that the ACGME was asking for comment on the ABAI proposal to allow changes to the requirements for the training of allergists, the College responded nimbly to the task. Inside of two weeks, we issued a blast email survey and an editorial concern in the August issue of e-News to which we had well over 500 member and fellow responses. While a few responses were supportive of the ABAI suggestion that family practitioners be admitted for training to allergy-immunology, the great majority was not supportive at all. Most believe a more reasoned discussion of the issue should follow before sweeping changes are made to the allergy specialty.

Irreverent opinions: ABAI moves to make allergy a Family Practice specialty


August 27, 2014

You read it right. The American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) together with the American Family Practice Board have jointly petitioned the ACGME to allow family physicians to enter allergy-immunology training along with pediatricians and internists, which will allow them to become board-certified allergists. ABAI made this suggestion with assertions that more allergists are needed.

The negotiations apparently have been going on between the boards for years. They worked out the kinks, and it appears ready to happen. We have until September 24 to render comment. Think for a minute: In less than one month our specialty could undergo monumental change.