The AMA No Longer Matters

One of the discussion lists I participate in had a lively exchange about the AMA’s new Executive Vice President, Dr. James Madara. Some people thought he was a good choice, others thought he is too much a creature of academic medicine and too much of an Obama liberal. I really have no idea, I said, but over the past few years the AMA has betrayed America’s patients and I have no use for the organization. Then I added another post:


I really have no business commenting on the AMA, so I won’t (any further.)  I love — quite literally — every poster on this list. You are all great physicians, dedicated citizens, and decent people in every way that counts. I do not want to discourage any of you in doing what you see as the right and moral thing.

I want to throw in a different thought that really has little bearing on what the AMA does. I hope you will indulge me, because I think it may provide context.

I no longer think this health care system — or this economy, or this government — is capable of being reformed. It is too late. I have asked every economist I know about how we get out of the mess we have created, including schools that don’t teach, growing numbers of people dependent on government handouts, a regulatory system that destroys entrepreneurship, and the impossible debt we have accumulated.

Not one has offered anything approaching an answer. Not just a practical answer, but even any theoretical, dreamland answer. There is no way out. That means the entire house of cards will collapse. Maybe not for another 20 years, maybe just 10. By collapse I mean something close to an early Mel Gibson movie in which survival is the primary motive.

A very large portion of our population has no practical skills. They may have advanced degrees in comparative literature or they may be great systems consultants and six sigma experts. But they don’t have a clue how to feed themselves, make clothes, build shelters, or fix a broken bone. After the collapse, the people who will prosper are those who can actually do something of value.

Feel free to dismiss all this as irrelevant to anything currently on the table. And perhaps I have become a kook in my old age. Certainly there have been nonsensical doomsday predictors forever, and maybe I have joined the crowd. But I have looked for any ray of sunshine and have not been able to find it. Sorry.

So my interest in health care now is to find a way that one patient and one doctor can find each other and work out a mutually beneficial relationship. Anything else is just noise.

Greg Scandlen

Very much to my surprise most of the people on the list agreed with me. I will publish a couple of the more extended comments in a moment. I would love to hear what you think.



4 Responses

  1. Greg,
    Just a little too bleak. Look at economic collapse in the past. Generally the result is not total regression to barbarism but rather a turn to a “strong leader” who brings order our of chaos at the expense of individual and societal liberty. Those who have worthless skills become party apparatchiks. Of course, the USSR, the Third Reich, Hungary under Admiral Horthy, Spain under Franco, Argentina under Peron were all pretty barbaric.

  2. Yikes, Dee. You may be right. But I think I would prefer Mad Max over these scenarios.


  3. Maybe not total collapse of society. The concentration of non-productive types is in the inner cities. Instead of Mad Max, perhaps more of an “escape from New York” from 1981.

    Those who do not live in the inner cities can survive quite well by simply ignoring the cities. And, most of those people (us) do have weapons to devend ourselves if and when the denizens come out to play.

    That said I really don’t expect to see any such scenerio. Our wimpy media will put a guilt trip on us to prevent abandoning the inner cities even though most of us will never go anywhere near one.

    • Gives me hope. When things break down, we can start teaching the public how to care for themselves without drugs and surgery. People will be healthier and see drugs and surgery in its proper context….only if necessary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: