The American Medical Association’s latest attempt to shore up their medical monopoly could have stiff consequences for practitioners who don’t toe the line. Action Alert!
Angered by what they call “quack MDs,” the AMA recently decided to “actively defend the profession.” In particular, it plans to
create ethical guidelines for physicians in the media, write a report on how doctors may be disciplined for violating medical ethics through their press involvement, and release a public statement denouncing the dissemination of dubious medical information through the radio, TV, newspapers, or websites.
Dr. Mehmet Oz of The Dr. Oz Show was specifically mentioned as being responsible for the type of behavior and “pseudoscience” that the AMA would like to curtail.
One of people who helped craft the AMA resolution to tighten control of doctors in the media is not, in fact, a physician himself, but only a medical student. He told Vox in an interview that “Dr. Oz has something like 4 million viewers a day. The average physician doesn’t see a million patients in their [sic] lifetime. That’s why organized medicine should be taking action.” In point of fact, Dr. Oz reaches only half that number—but let’s not let a little thing like accuracy stand in the way of an agenda.
Keep in mind that the AMA is not the voice of the medical profession. Its membership has slipped to the point where it represents only 17% of MDs, and many of those are free memberships given to medical students, yet it remains the fifth most powerful special interest on Capitol Hill, spending $19.7 million on lobbying in 2014. This gives it the clout to influence Medicare prices, make recommendations that shape national policy, and rake in about $218.8 million a year from its government-granted CPT medical code monopoly.