First Matball Challenge: UIHC Psychiatry…And Beyond?

So what does it mean that within a day or so of our faculty meeting on the agenda of which was Maintenance of Certification (MOC) we found out that the residents challenged faculty to a Matball match?

Matball Challenge Announcement
Location link


And what the heck is Matball?

Ouch. The Wikipedia rules are less lame. Anyway, it’s a complicated story which I bounced off my good friend and Ancient Astronut Theorist (What? I don’t see anything misspelled in this sentence), Giorgio Tsoukalos (alias the Hair Dude) who lives on the History Channel.

Dr. Amos: Giorgio, what’s up with living on the History Channel? Most people live in houses.

Hair Guy ancient-aliensGiorgio:  The History Channel doesn’t make me pay rent.

Dr. Amos: I see. You know I was wondering if you had any ideas on why the UIHC Psychiatry First Annual Matball Challenge and Potluck is being held in Happy Hollow Park, which just happens to be right across from Oakland Cemetery?

Giorgio: Yikes! You have to ask yourself what Matball, a game similar to baseball and soccer designed for and played by teenage boys (who, let’s face it, gotta be from Mars), and the legendary Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery are connected. Although it seems like a mystery, this is only apparent, like the so-called mystery surrounding the reptoids, humanoid reptiles spawned by ancient extraterrestrials from another space-time dimension.

New Mascot1Alice: This species of reptilians was wiped out in the mass extinction after the extraterrestrials discovered that MOC really dumbed down the reptoids.

Dr. Amos: I still can’t get over it–MOC was discovered in the late Jurassic period?

Giorgio: It’s both a matter of speculation and also beyond dispute that evolution of everything, including parallel universes, cycles over millenia.

Dr. Amos: Why would the Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery be connected to Matball?

Black Angel Iowa City Oakland Cemetery
Black Angel Oakland Cemetery Iowa City

Giorgio: Well, it’s potentially and probably as well as inarguably related to aliens attempting to run their own agenda on the human race. It’s analogous to how they steered events in all the major wars, including many Civil War battles in the U.S.

Dr. Amos: I don’t get it; what would they be steering?

Giorgio: What if the Black Angel is trying to influence the Annual Matball Challenge to evolve into a match between the major players in the MOC controversy?

Alice: You mean…?

Giorgio: Right! The idea is to avoid another mass extinction before humans are turned into reptoids by the MOC. The Black Angel could be creating a Matball showdown between key members of the American Board of Medical Speciaties and other certification boards like the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology! It just begins as a game between psychiatry residents and faculty.

Dr. Amos: Huh? The Black Angel is a statue.

Giorgio: Only apparently; it moves veeeerrrry sloooooowly. It turned from a bronze color into black only over many years, which proves my point exactly.

Zak Bagans: In order to debunk this, I think the Ghost Adventures team would need to be locked down in Oakland Cemetery the night before the Matball Challenge and Potluck. The Black Angel is clearly inhabited by a dark spirit.

Dr. Amos: Why do you believe that, Zak? And do you have to pay rent at the Travel Channel?

Aaron Goodwin: Dude, I just felt something crawling all over my body, Bro!

Dr. Amos: So this means Larry Faulkner, President and CEO of the ABPN, would be playing on the team opposite Lois Nora, the President and CEO of ABMS?

Giorgio: Precisely! And the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dr. Amos: Right; if Larry’s team wins, Part IV of MOC becomes optional; we all know about his recommendation, ABPN Letter to Diplomates. If Lois’s side wins, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons takes over board certification indefinitely.

Alice: Is that fair?

Ancient Aliens Hair Dude after getting hit by a matball
Ancient Aliens Hair Dude after getting hit by a matball

Giorgio: Life is not fair, Alice. The very existence of MOC proves that. And getting tagged with a matball leaves a mark; you’re talking to somebody who knows.

keep_calm_and_play_matball_woodsnapwoodcanvas-r1169fc78a39249168158dfa149863e94_zfolg_324Dr. Amos: Nobody’s backing down from this challenge. And if the ABMS wants doctors to stay with them, they’d better bring their A game. I just wish the controversy could be settled this easily.



Author: Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.