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Rand Paul not board certified

LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
The Louisville Courier-Journal says that Rand Paul is only certified as an ophthalmologist by himself. Literally by himself. He is not certified by anything connected to the AMA but instead has his own group called the National Board of Ophthalmology. (To be clear, he dropped his AMA related certification and set up his own certifying group.) He set this group up because the AMA related one requires recertification every 10 years so doctors keep up with education. He is the owner and President of the group. It has a PO box. It has no known standards for certification.

To be fair, he doesn't need certification to practice in Kentucky but I'm thrown for a loop by the dishonesty inherent in setting up your own "Board" to certify yourself because it is clearly being done to give the impression to the public that he's certified. That's really lying.

As a final note, there are 7 others certified by Rand Paul's "Board," but they are all also certified by the regular Board. Makes me wonder if he paid them to join or somehow offered them something so his Board looks less phony than it otherwise is.
Post edited by Lergnom on

Replies to: Rand Paul not board certified

  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    So, are you saying that Rand Paul is not qualified to practice medicine? Duke Medical School graduate. Internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta. Opthamology Residency at Duke Medical School. AMA board certified from 1993 to 2005?
  • applicannotapplicannot Registered User Posts: 4,366 Senior Member
    If he was fully qualified, why would he not remain AMA board certified?
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    The AMA Opthamology Board recently changed their by-laws to, for the first time, require re-certifcation. Previously, you were board certified once and then board certified forever.

    When the AMA Ophthamology Board changed their rules, they required all members certified after 1992 to be recertified every 10 years, but in a classic case of hypocrisy, the poo-bahs exempted themselves and all pther members certfiied before 1992 from recertification. The older docs (who most need the continuting education) remained certfied for life.

    Rand Paul protested the hypocrisy by refusing to be recertifed in 2005 and starting a competing certification board. It certainly doesn't appear that his competing board has gaine much traction.
  • rds248rds248 Registered User Posts: 956 Member
    Oh my God, where do I start to inform this totally uninformed conversation.

    The AMA has nothing directly to do with board certification. Each specialty has it's own board which is overssen by the ABMS or American Board of Medical Specialties. The AMA just puts their stamp of approval on the specialty boards that are overseen by the ABMS.
    Up until 20 years ago Board Certification was an optional certification that gave Doctors a certain cachet. It is not required in any way to practice a specialty, especially if you have completed the required residency and fellowship in that area. More recently Board Certification has become more necessary (although not officially) because many Managed care organizations require it to become part of their network. Hospitals prefer board certified physicians but it is usually NOT a requirement. Once you are on a hospital staff there is no requirement to recertify to maintain your staff privileges.

    Up until about 15 years ago most boards DID NOT require recertification once you were board certified. Most Doctors who passed their boards before that time are grandfathered, and do not have to recertify. Each specialty board, which is overseen by the American Board of Medical Specialties has it's own rules and regulations. In my specialty Gastroenterology, I passed my boards in 1988 and am grandfathered so my certification never expires. It is optional for me to retake the boards. Paul is younger and he felt it was unfair that older Docs were treated differently than younger Docs, who had to recertify every 10 years. There is certainly some traction to this argument. So he let his Board Certification expire in 2005 and formed another organization where this would not be the case.

    The whole thing is ridiculous. It has no bearing on his skill as a Physician, and the only issue is him claiming to be board certified and not having renewed his boards with the recognized specialty board... the American Board of Opthalmology. Again, this is a personal decision not to recertify... it requires hundreds of hours of work to do so, and physicians sometimes decide not to do so. He could do it at any time in the future if he wished to. I know many physicians that complain bitterly about the requirement to spend hundreds of hours to recertify and pass an obscure test that has nothing to do with their skills and practice. The whole thing is a total non-issue.
  • applicannotapplicannot Registered User Posts: 4,366 Senior Member
    That makes total sense.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Lergnom, the AMA doesn't have anything to do with certifying a given specialty. Each specialty has its own set of governing boards who administer the appropriate tests.

    Having said that, I think it's lazy when a physician doesn't bother to be board-certified in his / her specialty and all else being equal, I won't go to one who wasn't board-certified in that specialty. But, that's neither here nor there and it only relates to whether I would choose Rand Paul as my eye doctor and nothing more.

    I just hate to see us get caught up in the small stuff. It's petty and it's really irrelevant. There's enough to object to in Rand Paul's ideology; not necessary to make a strawman out of certification when we're not electing him Chief Opthamologist.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Just to be clear, Rand Paul most certainly did pass his boards and receive board certification in Opthamology. He was a "board certified" opthamologist with a degree from Duke, and internship at Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta (a major hospital), and residency in opthamology at Duke.

    The only thing he didn't do was renew his certification in 2005.

    This not a situation where a doctor failed to pass the boards in his specialty.
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,822 Senior Member
    ^ You just take the fun out of everything, don't you idad?
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    It was widely reported that Rand Paul opposed the recertification process because it discriminated against younger doctors. Older doctors didn't need to recertify.

    He said he didn't want to support this discrimination financially through dues.
  • IBfootballerIBfootballer Registered User Posts: 2,250 Senior Member
    regardless of its practical consequences, having certification through a board you created yourself is just plain sleazy
  • poetsheartpoetsheart Registered User Posts: 5,475 Senior Member
    regardless of its practical consequences, having certification through a board you created yourself is just plain sleazy.

    But, if you strongly feel there needs to exist a board that does not discriminate between younger and older doctors in its requirement for recertification, you might very well have to have a hand in creating one yourself, wouldn't you? It sounds like Rand Paul is a very qualified Opthamologist, who is well versed in the requirements for board certification in his field of medicine. Knowing all the facts, I have no problem with his decision to start an alternative certification board whose certification requirements are the same for all members. I'd not likely vote to send him to Congress, but I might go to him for opthalmic treatment. This sounds like just another political teapot tempest.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    It shows how little dirt the oppo research has been able to come up with if this is their big "gotcha". The Dems only chance is to paint him as three fries short of a Happy Meal and a looney bird. They are going to have to plant better stories than this in the media, although the left-wing blogosphere certainly tried to shout "Oh My God!" loud enough.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    Can nobody read? I said he doesn't need to be certified in Kentucky, but he chooses to say that he is certified when he isn't. That's the lie. I thought I wrote in simple English words but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people choose to misread what they don't want to read. The problem is not certification, which I said in exactly those words, but that he chooses to advertise to the public that he is certified when in fact the certification is a sham set up by him. It's just a PO Box. That's shameful behavior. Either you have the moral stones to drop certification and live with that - which as I've now said 4 times, he could have done - or you get the actual certification. You don't make up a certification and then claim that you're certified. That's morally indefensible. It's misleading the public into thinking that you have a meaningful certification.

    But I should have expect the first response would be to list where he went to medical school. Reading comprehension suffers yet another blow.

    As for whether the AMA is directly involved in certification or not, that's a side show that I simplified because it has nothing to do with the point that he's making up a certification and advertising that he has a meaningful certification from some actual body that does real things - like requiring continuing education.

    So your guy is a liar. He doesn't even need to lie but he chooses to lie to the public. Live with it. That he's also a shmuck whose ideas about discrimination are stupid is another issue but the guy is now without a shadow of a doubt a man who thinks it's morally ok to make up a certification to make himself look better in public. Such a paragon of virtue. Is that in his creed? Or is this just him being real?
  • BogneyBogney Registered User Posts: 2,364 Senior Member
    He is probably a great doctor. If he is against certification, he should simply not continue to participate in the process. Claiming to be certified by starting his own certification board is deceptive since without researching the issue, patients could be misled by the claim of certification. Deceptiveness is inherent in political candidates, but brazen deception is generally not a desirable characteristic for either party or independents.
  • fundingfatherfundingfather Registered User Posts: 4,026 Junior Member
    So your guy is a liar. He doesn't even need to lie but he chooses to lie to the public. Live with it. That he's also a shmuck whose ideas about discrimination are stupid is another issue but the guy is now without a shadow of a doubt a man who thinks it's morally ok to make up a certification to make himself look better in public. Such a paragon of virtue. Is that in his creed? Or is this just him being real?
    Wow, the outrage. It's good to have someone around who calls them as he sees them, regardless of party ... or not - this is how you responded to the Blumenthal issue of lying about his Vietnam service:
    My reaction to this kind of thing is the same when an Evangelical leader is found to be a closeted gay ... let him deal with it. The people of Connecticut vote on this guy. It's their choice. Otherwise, why the heck should I care or even take time to think about it. It doesn't concern me. It isn't my state. I don't have a vote. Just as it isn't my congregation, isn't my church. Not my concern. It's just gossip to me.

    Seems like you not only take the time to think about a potential issue if it pertains to a Republican, but you also think it important enough to start a thread about what most would see as a trivial issue.
This discussion has been closed.