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Practicing Physicians of America

$99,545 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 487 people in 1 month
Created May 14, 2018
Westby G. Fisher
on behalf of Practicing Physicians of America
My name is Westby Fisher, MD and I work as the  Director of  Cardiac Electrophysiology at a large health care system in the Chicago Metro area. I am board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in three specialties in medicine: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Cardiac Electrophysiology. Because I am nearly 60 years of age, I have watched the ABIM’s Board certification process go from a completely voluntary credential to one that is time-limited requiring recurrent payments to the ABIM throughout one’s lifetime.
 
Initially, the process of repeating one’s certification testing was not too onerous, but by 2013 it became apparent to me that the high-stakes repetitive testing of US physicians was about something much more.
 
After enduring the latest iteration of re-certification, called Maintenance of Certification (MOC™), for the third time in 2013, I began investigating the origins of MOC™ and followed its finances. My research has uncovered the purchase of a $2.3 million 2-bedroom luxury condominium by the ABIM Foundation, a shadow organization of the ABIM, in December of 2007 that came complete with a chauffeur-driven Mercedes S-Class town car, and off-shoring of $6.5 million of our testing fees to the Cayman Islands in the fiscal year 2014. With the help of a forensic accountant, Mr. Charles Kroll, we identified that the ABIM Foundation was not created in 1999 in the state of Iowa as tax documents claimed, but rather in 1989 – some 10 years earlier - in Pennsylvania. Between 1989 and 2007 over $78 million dollars of physician testing fees were secretly funneled from the ABIM to its Foundation, reportedly so the ABIM and its Foundation could define “medical professionalism” for US physicians. From those funds, the “Choosing Wisely®” campaign was created, an ironic name for the use of our physician testing fees. Numerous undisclosed corporate conflicts of interest were uncovered as well. A sampling of the potential tax fraud we have uncovered from public documents is included in this pdf file .
 
Despite overwhelming support from AMA House of Delegates and state legislators to correct the situation, our efforts have been blocked by special interests. In February of 2017, I co-founded Practicing Physicians of America (PPA), a Delaware-based membership corporation based in New Braunfels, TX that is organizing as a 501(c)(6) business league to help organize practicing physicians without the influence of corporate interests. None of our board members, including myself, are paid – we make our income as practicing physicians, like everyone else.
 
PPA has set up this campaign through GoFundMe to raise the necessary funds to complete our pre-litigation factual and legal investigation and draft a proposed Complaint against ABIM, the ABIM Foundation, their directors, executives, and perhaps others under federal antitrust laws and state consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices acts to bring an end to MOC™. We are also investigating possible claims for waste and mismanagement at ABIM.
 
PPA has finalized engagement terms with a law firm that specializes in complex litigation of this sort and has agreed to work at reduced hourly rates and to set a ceiling for this phase of its work. We can complete this next stage if enough of us commit to donating at least $250 to the PPA litigation support fund. I was honored to be the very first person to commit to the fund in the amount of $1,000. 
 
You can also designate your donation as anonymous if you choose to do so. Please be aware that payments to the “tip jar” do not go toward our campaign and that while “tips” do help defray GoFundMe’s costs (there is no charge to PPA to set up or administer the campaign), “tips” are entirely voluntary.
 
With your support, we will be in a position to take action within just a couple of months. Many thanks for your help in restoring integrity to the ABIM and helping us take down MOC™ for all subspecialties nationwide.

Finally, for those wanting to send a check in lieu of using this site, please earmark the check for "Legal Fund" and send it to: 

Practicing Physicians of America, Inc.
876 Loop 337, Building 101
New Braunfels, TX 78130
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To our fantastic donors -

On Monday, June 11th, I presented the results of PPA's national survey of US physicians and surgeons at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association. Richard Hawkins, MD, President and CEO of the ABMS was at the talk. (I learned from him in passing that the ABMS Vision Commission's survey garnered 36,000 physician responses, but those results are not public at this time. )

PPA's results were released at the meeting and because I hope to have them published, I cannot reveal all of the data or the methods at this time, but I wanted to give our contributors a sneak preview because this is the first survey I am aware of to collect data on the adverse effects of the ABMS Maintenance of Certification™ program.

7007 US physicians and surgeons participated in our survey from every subspecialty (both medical and surgical). All 50 states and every US territory were represented. 92% of the physicians who took the survey were board certified at least once, and 19% held at least one certificate before 1990 ("grandfathers").

Of the board certified physicians, 74% were participating in MOC and 8.3% of them failed their examination. 390 of the 394 physicians who failed experienced the following consequences. Psychological harms were the most common, with 56% of affected physicians becoming “depressed, anxious, embarrassed, or suicidal” and 44% ashamed to share their MOC/OCC failure or loss of Board certification with their workplace, family, or friends. Economically, 23% of those who failed MOC lost their hospital privileges (10%), insurance panel payments (8%), or job (5%), and some (4%) had to relocate as a result of failure. A substantial number (67/390, 17%) of physicians planned to retire early in lieu of enduring re-certification. Post hoc analysis showed those who failed MOC or lost their board certification, even briefly, were geographically distributed, more likely to be male, older, and later in their career.

All of this from an unproven MOC™ program that WE pay for.

Please email two of your closest friends and share these results with them, Then ask them to contribute to this campaign. While we are doing pretty well, donation amounts are slightly lower than expected, so we need more donors to achieve our goal.

I cannot do this without your help.

Thanks for you help with this effort.

Wes Fisher MD
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I was interviewed by Dr. Douglas Farrago last week and the hour-long podcast appeared online today:

http://authenticmedicine.com/authentic-medicine-podcast-6-corruption-collusion-moc-wes-fisher-md/

To learn more about this drive, skip ahead to 43:30 of the podcast and listen in. It provides considerable detail regarding this funding effort and how these funds are being used. Also, please share the link above with your more skeptical colleagues so they can understand what we're up and why it's so important to donate.

Thank you.

-Wes
+ Read More
A 23-minute video of my presentation delivered to the AMA House of Delegates Interim Meeting, June 13, 2016, on MOC's corruption is attached. (You can download the slides at http://www.medtees.com/content/AMAHODJune2016.pptx )
MOC Presentation, AMA House of Delegates
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$99,545 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 487 people in 1 month
Created May 14, 2018
Westby G. Fisher
on behalf of Practicing Physicians of America
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