Monday, August 02, 2010

The physicians' Declaration of Independence

This is from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, in many ways the most libertarian of all our professional societies. I don't agree with everything these folks put out (they have been a little anti-vax in their leanings in the past) but AAPS has been uniquely courageous in its refusal to kowtow to the increasingly self-flagellating medical establishment and the “system” with all its intrusive regulations. Also unique among professional societies, AAPS refuses to buy into the cynical view that the interests of organized medicine and those of patients are inherently conflicted.

The Declaration presents an interesting time line of the intrusion of government into the doctor-patient relationship but leaves out two important events: the utter failure of Medicare's PSRO in the 70s and early 80s to stem its massive excesses and inefficiencies followed by the ill-conceived and capricious implementation of the Prospective Payment System in 1984.

2 comments:

Orac said...

Uh, Dr. RW, the AAPS is far more than a "little antivax" in its leanings. It promotes the idea that shaken baby syndrome is a misdiagnosis for vaccine injury and that vaccines cause autism. It also promotes the scientifically unsupported notion that abortion causes breast cancer, and it publishes articles that are pure HIV/AIDS denialism. Lately the AAPS has been pushing some rather vile and racist anti-immigrant rhetoric and pseudoscientific screeds denying anthropogenic global warming.

The AAPS is truly a wingnut organization, so much so that I really do think you should reconsider its invoking it for anything, lest its wingnuttiness taint you by association:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/the_journal_of_american_physicians_and_s.php

You may agree with it politically on this one point, but I rather suspect (and hope) that the rest of the pseudoscientific baggage that it carries around would make you think twice. In fact, in case you aren't aware, the AAPS frequently publishes attacks on the very concept of EBM as being too constraining to physicians. As for science-based medicine, I don't think it's too far to characterize the AAPS as an opponent of the very concept.

R. W. Donnell said...

Orac,
Thanks for the heads up. I am going to avoid name calling although I have to say I don't frequent their site enough to know the extent of the wingnuttiness of their positions. I was aware of some of their aberrant views, (which is why I have never joined) but not to the extent you pointed out. (That's a real shame because IMHO they are the only professional organization which really represents organized medicine against the external intrusions, governmental and nongovernmental, into the doctor-patient relationship).

If my characterization of them was too mild it was merely a disclaimer lest anyone think I endorse all their views.

I appreciate your concern. I may cite something from them I like (or criticize them) from time to time but I hope readers judge this blog by its content rather than the company it (occasionally) keeps.