There's a wonderful social media principle that might just stop Maintenance of Certification: the Streisand Effect.
The Streisand Effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. And when the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) resorts to thuggery and strongman tactics against a physician, this might just come back to bite them in the private parts.
Imagine, you are a physician and your regulatory agency strips you of your privileges to practice medicine without due process. Then imagine the same regulatory agency refuses to release information pertitent to your defense for months and months.
Then imagine, that same self-appointed regulatory agency decides to subpoena you for additional information for their case against you on the busiest travel weekend of the year with only 17 days notice (usual and customary time is 30 days notice). Then, after your attorney politely tries to plea for an adjustment of dates, that same regulatory agency that seems unable to provide information to you, basically says to your attorney: "Your client may choose to disregard it - and the sanctions such disregard will bring - at his own peril."
Welcome to the legal tactics of the ABIM that is feeling the heat of Dr. Salas Rushford's discovery requests and their upcoming meeting with the judge in the case on 3 June 2016.
In 2015, Dr. Salas Rushford had a gross income $69,725 and a net loss of $1875 in 2015. Compare this amount to the $10.88 million Christine Cassel, MD earned from the ABIM and her cronies during her stint as President and CEO at ABIM from 2003-2013. According to their recently-released tax forms for fiscal year 2015, the ABIM recieved revenues of over $57,620,000 in its fiscal year ending Jun 30, 2015 and Richard Baron, MD (the current President and CEO) pocketed a cool $812,000.
One thing I know. The Internet doesn't like bullies that are trying to hide something from the public (just ask Barbara Streisand).
To me, this young man who has been accused of wrongdoing by the ABIM deserves a fair shake. Imagine what would happen if every US physician, internist, or medical student donated $1, $5 or $10 (or more) to his efforts - it would be a game-changer for the ABIM and for working physicians.
Consider donating to Dr. Salas Rushford's defense and countersuit of the ABIM here.
After all: bullies suck.
P.S.: Consider sharing this post with friends.