CMA had a debate on their association with CPS (Blue Shield). They re-affirmed that CPS is inextricably linked with the CMA despite the allegations from within and without the profession, “What are the doctors doing in the insurance business?” …If CPS can be channeled for low income group, the Committee feels it will be a true expression of the principle of service which has been the hall mark of our profession since the beginning of history… In closing, I give you one direct quote from the report: “He who controls the payment of medical care costs controls medicine–whether that be the state, the commercial insurance companies, the hospitals, industry, labor or doctors themselves.” –Dave Dozier, MD.
Thirty years ago (June 1967)
An article by James E Bryan, former executive administrator of the New York County and the New Jersey State Medical Society, was reprinted and is relevant today. A brief excerpt including the ten commandments (non-Mosaic) are as follows:
If the medical school is your medical mother–the womb in which your professional skills took on shape and substance–then your county medical society comprises your medical family. For whatever else it may do for you, your county medical society provides the family environment which will nurture, protect and enlighten you throughout your professional youth and maturity.
The county medical society–and indirectly, the state association and AMA–uniquely embraces all physicians; the teacher, researcher, health officer, administrator and the great body of clinicians. Thus the county society is the skeletal structure and central nervous system that coordinate all the diversely specialized parts of the total body of medicine. And as specialism has expanded and proliferated, this coordinating function of the county society has become ever more vital to the integrity of the profession…
Until a doctor has accepted–without reservation–the concept of his county society… as his professional family and as the one association embracing his total profession, there’s little benefit he can derive from the society, and very little he’s likely to do for the society, either…
And I think it’s equally important–in adjusting our philosophical stance toward the county society-to recognize that the really vital services it will and can render you, as an individual, are intangible, literally immeasurable and incalculable, in terms of dollars and cents…
The medical society exists primarily as an instrument through which its members can achieve certain ends that they could never hope to achieve alone. This instrument should do the following for you.
1. It represents you and your colleagues in public health and welfare programs. 2. It interprets you–your training, motives, problems, professional aims and objectives–to your community.
3. It tries to nurture a favorable public concern toward your profession by helping people to understand and appreciate medicine’s contribution to the public welfare.
4. It guides the development of medical practice in relation to other callings and economic groups.
5. It protects your legal status as a doctor.
6. It protects the public against exploitations by quacks and frauds, and keeps medical competition on a professional plane.
7. It controls the depredations of the small minority of doctors whose interest in the profession is only an economic one.
8. It promotes and guides the prepayment plans and other economic devices designed to help patients’s pay for your services at the least burden and sacrifice to themselves.
9. It helps your profession to meet its collective responsibilities to the public and avoids the necessity of the public resorting to political devices to solve these problems.
10. It helps you to survive and have your voice heard as a responsible professional man in an increasingly interdependent and socialized society.