June 16, 2010

The story of Rand Paul continues to take on very unusual turns as more and more comes out about his past. Howie Klein broke this on Sunday, but I'm just getting to it today.

Down With Tyranny.

Well, even apart from the character issue-- I mean who wants another liar in the Senate, let alone operating on your eyes?-- it so happens that Paul, who's been sued for malpractice a couple of times (paying off one ex-patient $50,000 to get him to go away) and that the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has never sanctioned him!

This story is just competely insane.

Rand Paul, who touts his career as a Kentucky eye doctor as part of his outsider credentials in his campaign for U.S. Senate, isn't certified by his profession's leading group.

He tried Monday to bat away questions about it by calling it an attack on his livelihood, saying the scrutiny stems from his challenge of a powerful medical group over a certification policy he thought was unfair.

The libertarian-leaning Republican helped create a rival certification group more than a decade ago. He said the group has since recertified several hundred ophthalmologists, despite not being recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties – the governing group for two dozen medical specialty boards. Questions about Paul's certification as an eye surgeon first arose in a story published Sunday in The Courier-Journal of Louisville.

This man is a quack. The ABMS isn't a government agency that he's railing against because they want to control his life and it's not like he had to take a big test every year or so to keep his certification. It's every ten years. Isn't it nice that an organization formed to make sure opthamologists keep current with advancements in their field and know all about any new advancement?

The American Board of Medical Specialties said board certification is important because it enables "patients to determine whether their physicians were appropriately trained and knowledgeable in their specialties."

Instead he starts his own rival group "National Board of Ophthalmology."

He is listed as the group's president; his wife, Kelley, is listed as vice president; and his father-in-law is listed as secretary. Paul and his relatives receive no salaries from the organization, his campaign said.

Are you laughing yet? His family are the board members.

He then is completely dishonest. He knows what he's doing with his own practice.

In an interview with The Courier-Journal shortly before the May 18 Republican primary, which he won, Paul said he was certified by both ophthalmological boards.

A spokesman subsequently said that Paul misspoke because the question was unclear and he acknowledged his certification by the American Board had lapsed. There is no indication that Paul isn't qualified to practice ophthalmology, which he has done in Bowling Green since moving to Kentucky in 1993


And there's something weird going on here because he's practicing in a hospital when he's supposed to be really, ummm...board certified.

Board certification isn't required to practice medicine in Kentucky, but most hospitals either prefer or require that doctors be board-certified. That includes The Medical Center and Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green, where Paul practices.

Why is he practicing there? Anyway, this is a man that the rules just don't apply to, ever.

As Joseph Gerth writes in his column: Rand Paul creates mistrust by refusing to answer questions about ophthalmology certification

Then, his campaign, which had been shielding him from answering questions for five days at that point, announced that all questions on the issue would have to be submitted in writing.

Rand Paul misses the point. He is right that the questions about his National Board of Ophthalmology have nothing to do with issues of national policy.

They have nothing to do with the federal debt. They have nothing to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. And they have nothing to do with plans to shutter the U.S. Department of Education.

They have to do with trust.

Patients have come to expect that a doctor who holds himself out as a "board certified" specialist, as Paul does, meets rigorous standards created by an independent body?

And, if the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists don't recognize Paul's National Board of Ophthalmology, exactly what are the standards required for certification by that board?You can find the requirements of the American Board of Ophthalmology at www.abop.org. Paul's group maintains no such website.

Why should people trust him to represent them honestly in Congress when he's a huckster in real life?

You know, I'm really sick of the way the DMV makes me have to renew my driver's license. I know this is a government agency, but what the heck it's all the same, right?

I'm going to start a new group called the Amato Motor Vehicle Department (AMVD). Sorry for the extra letter. If you want to join and get a driver's license with no hassle, I'll have a form you can fill out online very soon. It's a free test to take and then will only cost you ten dollars so we can process it. Please send in ten bucks via snail mail, paypal or credit card. Once we have your cash, AMVD will send via email your license. You'll be able to print it out on your ink jet and put it on your person. If a police officer doesn't accept it when he pulls you over, tell him that the AMVD is awesome and he should join too because I bet he or she doesn't like those pesky rules either. Soon I'll be able to send out card board license plates that will come in an array of colors. Just tape them on to your back window or or your bumper.

Can you help us out?

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