Stay and Change?

So I saw this great little piece by Storyshucker and tweeted it:

Rarely have connections with strangers like this occurred to me. I say this because the post struck a chord in me at a time when I’m making what I consider a pretty important decision–not to renew my membership with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). For background see my previous post.

The two posts seem almost to work like two sides of the inner conflict I had about leaving the two major organizations of which I’ve been a member since my residency.

And it’s funny; Storyshucker’s post also reminded me of my own early experience with fraternities in college. The Omegas used to burn brands of the Omega symbol on the arms of their pledges who they accepted. The hazing was pretty rough, a lot like what Storyshucker describes–rolling them down steep hills and such.

I never for one moment considered joining a fraternity. In fact, I’m not much of a joiner. I probably joined the APA and the AMA because many of my classmates were doing it.

I was also asked to address questions to the APA candidates just as George Dawson was. You can see his reply here.

It’s almost as if Storyshucker is challenging me to consider staying to change what I don’t think is right with the APA and the AMA.

He’s not of course; it’s just a coincidence. But it’s a powerful coincidence. He didn’t intend to make me reflect on my decision–I made that happen by making the connection.

Now I’m not going to reconsider and pay up that $981 to the APA nor do I intend to change my mind about the AMA. I know deep in my soul, whether I’m an insider or an outsider, I’m not going to change those organizations or change what boards are doing to doctors with nonsense like the Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

But I do know one thing–change will happen. Things will change not when I want them to or how I want them to. But change will come whether or not anyone expects it, wishes for it, demands it, or avoids it.

If nothing else happens–I’ll change.

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Comments

  1. I’m unbelievably flattered and grateful that you enjoyed the post and that it triggered you to ponder some things even more deeply than you obviously already are. Good luck with your decision making. I’ve no doubt you’ll make the best one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. George, I tell my residents to read your blog. I count you as my friend. Good luck and happy holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the story and I guess it depends on your personality. I expect real change not incremental change basically because in many cases that is all you get (Focus instead of no MOC). The outcome I would need to see is an end to hazing. But I am also not a joiner and not very social so the potential benefits of a fraternity are negligible to me.

    Our professional organizations have done a lot of things that are just plain wrong from my perspective as a member. You and I have reviewed and continue to review them in detail. You have the best information anywhere on the MOC issue. Large organizations have a lot of inertia and a lot of that depends on the perceived interest of the organization. I think that both the APA and the AMA are at the point where they may not be able to correct. We know that the force necessary is somewhere beyond 5,525 members. Any lone critics have a big task ahead of them.

    The main reason I am staying at this point is that I think I have more street cred as a member as opposed to being an outsider. I realize that is probably not a widely held opinion and you don’t make a lot of friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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