Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bill Frist: Fined for Missing Continuing Ed

State Boards, the bane of every Doctor's existence. The Boards are made up of political appointees. Their job is to generally harass Doctors and other professionals, make money for the state, make money for favored continuing ed cabals, and make money off of continuing education. Oh, that's right, they discipline doctors for infractions and sins and every once in a while get after the real criminal docs, but that's rare.

Essentially, State Boards are the hall monitors of the profession throwing the kids without passes into detention and letting the pot-heads go. Why? Cause it's easy to bother the minor rule breakers.

Do I sound sympathetic to Dr. Frist? Well, I am. The same thing happened to me about two years into practice. I had two babies, one a sick child who had just been diagnosed Autistic. I had to cancel my continuing ed weekend because of his illness. Well, that pushed me into a later month. My continuing ed happened after my birthday, so it didn't count for that year--even though my paperwork was in like a week and 1/2 late. I could have appealed, of course, but my personal circumstances were still the same. That meant driving to Austin to appeal--a whole day shot. Or, I could pay the fine. I paid the fine.

The situation in Texas is so political. They won't allow Chiropractors to do more than four hours of on-line continuing education. Why? Money. It is a huge hoo-ha to get a course certified for continuing education in Texas. Rather than certify a course, they certify by hour. The course instructor/company must pay for each course hour certified. The Colleges in Texas want the continuing ed to stay off-line, too. Otherwise they lose money. It's a racket.

The State also charges a $30 fee to send a certificate for all the continuing ed a doc takes. I can only imagine how much money the system generates for the state.

To top it all off, the Board publishes all the doctors names every year who are fined. They don't say why they were fined--just that they're fined. So docs who were late on continuing ed are in the same category as the doc doing something really bad. Nice.

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