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    ABIM needs to look in the mirror when discussing lack of trust

    Maintenance of certification angst is growing and the purveyors of this onerous exercise have discovered the root of the problem: the patient. 

     

    Related: ABIM touts certification to restore patient trust

     

    Yes, you read that correctly. The reason physicians need to spend thousands of dollars to take a test on things they often don’t encounter is because patients simply don’t trust them anymore. 

    At least that’s what the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) told attendees of this year’s American College of Physicians conference in San Diego in March. Richard Baron, MD, president and chief executive officer of the ABIM and its foundation (remind me again why a test-taking organization has a foundation?) stood before a crowded room of internists and unveiled the reason behind this distrust: Fake news.

    Again, you are reading this correctly. Projected on a large screen next to Baron were references to presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green massacre” and Washington, D.C.-based Comet Pizza, the alleged home of a child-trafficking ring. 

    Both examples—neither one based on fact—were cited as examples of misinformation that “led to the loss of valued institutions’ credibility.” Institutions like healthcare … and physicians. I’m being serious—there were other people in the room.

     

    Popular online: Top 10 challenges facing physicians in 2017

     

    Bottom line, according to the ABIM: Patients no longer trust their doctors. (Spoiler alert: They trust the internet, word of mouth and their friends instead). Luckily the ABIM is here with a sure-fire solution. By renewing your board certification every 10 years—or through its new two-year option —you will get an “unimpeachable marker of quality and credibility,” according to Baron.

    Next: Blocking out all the noise

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