Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Louisville Courier-Journal: Rand Paul not a certified ophthalmologiset

Joseph Gerth of the The Louisville Courier-Journal:
Rand Paul's Ophthalmology Certification not Recognized by National Clearinghouse

"U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says he is a "board-certified" ophthalmologist -- even though the national clearinghouse for such certifications says he hasn't been for the past five years. Rand Paul, who practices in Bowling Green, says he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads.

But that entity is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards.

Lori Boukas, a spokeswoman for the American Board of Medical Specialties, said her organization considers certifications to be valid only if they are done by the 24 groups that have its approval and that of the AMA."
This could make for an interesting story. To be clear, Paul is licensed to practice medicine in Kentucky, but the national body that certifies ophthalmologists does not recognize Rand Paul's certification to specialize in ophthalmology. More from the Joseph Gerth of the The Louisville Courier-Journal:
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure does not verify doctors' specialty training and instead directs people to the American Board of Medical Specialties to determine if a doctor is board-certified. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recognizes board certification only by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

In an interview with The Courier-Journal shortly before the May 18 Republican primary, which he won, Paul said he was certified by both ophthalmological boards. . .

A spokesman subsequently said that Paul misspoke because the question was unclear and he acknowledged his certification by the American Board had lapsed.

There is no indication that Paul isn't qualified to practice ophthalmology, which he has done in Bowling Green since moving to Kentucky in 1993.

He is a 1988 graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and has been licensed to practice in Kentucky since 1993. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has never sanctioned Paul, according to its website, and he has medical privileges at two Bowling Green hospitals.
Okay, the guy has a medical license, he's just not actually certified to practice ophthalmology by the only national board that recognizes ophthalmology certifications.

Oops. Oh dear dear dear Dr. Paul. We've been somewhat naughty, haven't we Dr. Paul?

Jeez ol' Pete! I don't think this looks good at all! Aren't specialists supposed to be certified by the national organizations that certify these things, as opposed to official-sounding organizations they've set up themselves? By Paul's logic I could be performing brain surgery next week, as long as I can set an official-sounding Board to certify that I'm a specialist and name myself an expert in cranial fractulations! New career, here I come!

The always reliable Joe Conason provides some interesting filling-in-of-the-details at Salon.com.
Dr. Paul: Not board-certified, but self-certified

Asked by a Louisville reporter when he would explain his dubious certification, Rand Paul said: "Uh ... never"

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.
You know what? This is just too hilarious. This ought to give Jack Conway a little something else to run-on.

Smarty-pants Dr. Paul and his people "forgot" that Paul wasn't actually, you know, certified by the national governing body that certifies ophthalmologists. Just a mis-statement? I call bullshit.

I mean how the eff are you going to represent yourself as an ophthalmologist when your certification comes from an organization you set up yourself, and not the American Board of Ophthalmology? That is some weak-ass tea if you ask me.



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