In ancient Greece an imbalance in the proportions of the human body’s four “humors” — blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile — was believed to be the cause of ill health. Bloodletting using leeches was one method used by physicians to balance the humors, and this practice continued through the ages.
Modern medicine continues to use the leech in a few ways, mostly through the use of hirudin, lepirudin, and bivalirudin, but for most people the lowly leech (Hirudo medicinalis) is viewed with horror and disgust for the blood-sucking parasite that it is.
And this brings us to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its ‘Member Boards’ and the Maintenance of Certification (MOC). In ancient times the ABMS had its place, and hopefully we can take the best parts of MOC and use it in new and different ways. But it is time for all doctors to see the ABMS for the blood-sucking parasite that it has become.
And it is with horror and disgust that we see all that Westby Fisher and Charles Kroll have uncovered.
• It is time to pull off the leeches that are sucking us dry!
• I call for all Board positions to be held by practicing physicians – no ‘professional class’.
• I call for a federal law to mirror the Oklahoma Law to free all physicians to practice without the dark shadow of MOC looming over them.