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Professional Integrity for Sale? “Sure,” Says Medscape!

Some chiropractors also practice homeopathy. According to Frank King, D.C., many more should be doing just that:

Homeopathy is an energetic form of natural medicine that corrects nerve interferences, absent nerve reflexes, and pathological nerve response patterns that the chiropractic adjustment alone does not correct. The appropriate homeopathic remedies will eliminate aberrant nerve reflexes and pathological nerve responses which cause recurrent subluxation complexes.

Not only does homeopathy correct nerve interferences, it empowers the doctor of chiropractic to reach the entire nervous system. What this means is that we can now better affect the whole person, and all of the maladies that affect us. Homeopathy’s energetic approach reaches deep within the nervous system, correcting nerve interferences where the hands of chiropractic alone cannot reach. Homeopathy is the missing link that enables the chiropractor to truly affect the whole nervous system!

But that’s not all:

Financial Rewards

Homeopathy means a multiple increase in business. Personally, I have been able to see and effectively help more patients in less time. The additional cash flow from broadening your scope of practice, increasing your patient volume and selling the homeopathic remedies is a wonderful adjunct. Better yet are the secondary financial benefits:

  • Homeopathy is like an extension of you that the patient can take with them to apply throughout each day in between visits. The actual therapeutic benefits of homeopathy along with the inner comforts of the patient as they connect you with each dose they take.
  • The dynamic broadening of your effective scope of practice multiplies the number of patients you can help and the multiple problems that each patient usually has. As you correct one set of problems, there are commonly other problems most patients don’t even tell their chiropractors. This doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Homeopathy empowers the chiropractor to correct conditions ranging from allergies to warts with incredible effectiveness!
  • Obviously, the rule of multiples will exponentially increase when a homeopathic procedure is properly implemented into your practice. Many of the conditions people are suffering with have no viable solution without the dynamic duo of chiropractic and homeopathy.

You can be the doctor people will seek out, travel long distances to see, and pay cash for your valuable services. Take it from someone who has experienced it first hand, it’s a great position to be in.

This is no surprise. Most chiropractors relinquished whatever ethical integrity they might have had when they bought into the “subluxation” myth, and the field as a whole has a fine tradition of “practice building.”

Naturopaths, likewise, don’t mind winking at practice ethics in order to make an extra buck. Nor do MD quacks, of course. Hey, it’s getting harder and harder to make a living just by slogging through the morass of needy patients, onerous third-party billing requirements, diminishing payments, increasingly cumbersome practice guidelines, next-to-impossible-to-keep-up-with (nothing to say of tedious and technical!) medical literature, and all the rest. Why not sprinkle your practice with a little ‘diagnostic’ sugar that will appease those clingy patients—for a while, anyway—and that you won’t have to find billing codes for (because there aren’t any)? Heck, why not check out this offering from “bio-pro, inc. Amazing Anti-Aging Solutions (Healthier Patients, More Patients)”:

HOWW TOOOO ….
The “must do” seminars for those who own or are managing a
Complimentary [sic] Medicine Practice.

Three day course teaches you:
How to relate to the patient, evaluate, test and diagnose
How to use solutions, mixtures, methods, supplies and equipment
How to protocol administration for Chelation, Oxidation, Chelox, TriOx, Ascorbates, UVBI
How to design and organize your office
How to hire and fire staff and to computerize
How to use public relations and marketing
How to manage compliance with Medicare, State Medical Boards and governmental regulatory agencies
 
Manuals included…
Each attendee receives one set of training materials, including:

Protocol Manual
Physicians Manual
Office Procedure Manual
Forms Book
Marketing Manual
Patient Results Manual
Employee Manual
Audio tapes
and other related material.

Bio-pro was founded in 1978 by the late Charles H. Farr, MD, PhD, the self-styled “father of oxidative medicine,” who was also a founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, the Mother of All Pseudomedical Pseudoprofessional Organizations (PPO).

But none of this is surprising, right? After all, quacks quack.

What may have come as a surprise to beleaguered physicians who still play by the rules was this offering, just a few days ago, from Medscape Business of Medicine

Six Ways to Earn Extra Income From Medical Activities

You’re chasing after claims but watching reimbursement sink.

It’s a common story, and primary care doctors and even specialists are keeping their ears to the ground for other ways to boost their bottom line. Luckily, doctors have some fairly lucrative options that can help them maintain their income — and perhaps even increase it.

We looked at 6 avenues that physicians have taken to earn extra revenue. None of these activities require a tremendous amount of time. Participating in just 1 or 2 activities can put enough money in your pocket to allow you to breathe a little easier when the bills come in. Here are several popular ones for consideration.

So what are those ‘6 avenues’? Let’s see:

  • Work with Attorneys
  • See Nursing Home Patients
  • Serve as a Medical Director 

So far, so not necessarily bad…

  • Team Up with Pharmaceutical Companies

What??! Team up with pharmaceutical companies? Couldn’t that mean, like, just doing legitimate research and trying like hell to do it right? Uh, nope:

Drug and device companies spend billions of dollars each year to discover and promote new medicines and treatments, and they rely heavily on doctors to participate in these endeavors whether through clinical trials or serving as a speaker or consultant. It’s not uncommon for physicians to earn a minimum of 5 figures a year either speaking or doing clinical studies within their medical practice. Some doctors make in excess of $100,000 annually — on top of their income from seeing patients.

O’course, you gotta watch out for those pesky ethics killjoys, warns Medscape: 

Although some extra money is nice, too much can turn heads — and not in a good way. In late January, The Boston Globe reported on an allergy and asthma specialist who was issued an ultimatum by his hospital, the prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts): Stop moonlighting on behalf of pharmaceutical companies or resign from your staff position.

What it all comes down to is this:

Pros: With typical payments running about $1500-$2500 for a single talk, there’s substantial opportunity to supplement your regular income…

Cons: These arrangements are coming under increasing scrutiny from hospitals, legislators, regulators, and the media. In fact, some of the doctors whom we contacted for this article declined to talk about their involvement with drug companies.

Uh, no kiddin’. Funny that the “increasing scrutiny” doesn’t seem to come from organized medicine, medical schools, mainstream medical journals, state medical boards, or doctors in general. A couple of years ago I lamented the publication of a couple of book reviews, in the lofty New England Journal of Medicine, that had celebrated trendy pseudomedicine. Shortly thereafter I received this from an emeritus editor:

I think the incursion into the bastions of medicine has to do with the fact that everything nowadays—absolutely everything—has become a market. If quackery appeals to the readers of the NEJM, it will be there. ”Is it true?” is no longer the question anyone asks, but “Will it sell?” And I think that applies to the editors of most major journals, as well. 

True, dat. As for Medscape, this isn’t its first ethical gaff, and I agree with Bernard Carroll that it seems to have “a right hand – left hand problem.” Oh yeah: what were the other 2 “avenues”? Those would be: 

  • Become a Media Personality
  • Consult for Wall Street

Posted in: Chiropractic, Health Fraud, Homeopathy, Medical Academia, Medical Ethics, Naturopathy, Politics and Regulation, Science and Medicine

Leave a Comment (11) ↓

11 thoughts on “Professional Integrity for Sale? “Sure,” Says Medscape!

  1. chaos4zap says:

    If you were using the two methods of 1) teaming up with Pharmaceutical companies and 2) Consult for Wall Street, doesn’t that seem dangerously close to insider trading? This, of course, is assuming that “teaming up with pharmaceutical companies” implies more than just participating in research trials, which seems to be true of what this article is getting at. I’m not sure how much, or if, M.D.’s make any additional money from simply participating in clinical trials. I will also admit that I only have a vague idea of what insider trading is, but this aspect jumped out at me immediately and I thought I would throw it out there.

  2. chaos4zap says:

    Now that I think about it, even clinical trials would not be exempt. If a M.D. was in any way letting anyone on wall street know how a trial was going before it is published….that too could lead to the same situation.

  3. Scott says:

    IANAL, but it seems to me that clinical trials would be the *main* place there would be a problem. Giving talks wouldn’t seem like it could lead to an insider trading charge, since by definition you’re providing the public with the information in question (hence it’s no longer ‘insider’ information). If you were given confidential information as part of the materials to use in preparing the talk, maybe.

  4. daijiyobu says:

    Dr. A., I think you’ve extended thoroughly the sCAM / pseudomedicine idea of “integration” to its truest of circumstances, integrative publication — infiltration of the institutions of communication.

    Many argue that, likewise, these integrative clinics that exist, partnering woo with major academic medical centers, have, as they say, “followed the money,” infiltrating the institutions of academia.

    Speaking of integration — overlapping both institutions of communication and academia — this may be interesting:

    the 06-22-2010 archived episode of the Michael Coren show from Canada

    [see http://ctstv.com/ontario/player.php?ctsvidID=17726&show=Michael%20Coren%20Show ; there are minimal commercials]

    which is a debate of sorts between CFI-CASS and two NDs.

    Pay particular attention to the ‘ship worm’ / parasitic mannerism of the latter, who consistently cite MDs as ‘the largest group of natural medicine purveyors’, Pubmed, the University of Toronto, and co-practice with MD specialists [their vessel].

    -r.c.

  5. weing says:

    Sure is tempting. Do you have to promote their drug even when it’s not indicated? Or do you just present the indications and mechanism of action, contraindications, and side effects?

  6. Jann Bellamy says:

    Medscape is spot on with it’s recommendation to “work with attorneys.” Just ASK-GARY:

    [From the St. Petersberg (FL) Times,
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/ford-amphitheatre-gets-a-new-name-from-1-800-ask-gary/1101403

    "TAMPA — You may be asking yourself, "Where should I go to hear live music in Tampa?" . . . .

    "Promoters hope you come to the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, the Florida State Fairgrounds concert venue newly named for the familiar doctor-and-lawyer referral service.

    "Is that a joke?" asked Keith Ulrey, who works at Tampa's Vinyl Fever music store.

    "Nope.

    "The venue known as Ford Amphitheatre since it opened in 2004 unveiled the new moniker at a news conference Thursday.

    "General manager David Harb said officials wanted to partner with a local, recognizable company.

    "1-800-ASK-GARY has offices in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Gainesville. It's known for commercials featuring a woman named Roz, chatting from the front seat of her car. . . .

    "Harb wouldn't say how much 1-800-ASK-GARY paid for the three-year deal, but members of the Florida State Fair Authority said its 20 percent cut was about $75,000 a year. Do the math, and that's $375,000 a year — about half of what Ford paid, according to St. Petersburg Times archives.

    "The man behind the 1-800 number is Gary Kompothecras, a 50-year-old millionaire chiropractor from Sarasota who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to statewide Republican campaigns and at least $1 million to Charlie Crist.

    "Kompothecras, who has two autistic children, also lobbies for legislation to change requirements for childhood vaccinations, which some believe cause autism. [ARRGGGH!] . . . .

    “Kompothecras’ Physicians Group runs more than 40 [!!!] accident treatment offices in the state. He got the idea for 1-800-ASK-GARY from accident victims who didn’t know where to turn, said Paul Wilson, the referral service’s advertising director. . . .

    “The Times tried asking Gary, but he didn’t respond to a reporter’s phone calls. Wilson said Kompothecras was on the way back from a trip to Italy. . . .

    “Evan Surrency, 18, wasn’t so sure [about the name].

    “If I was someone like John Mayer, I wouldn’t want to say I was performing at the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre,” said Surrency, who was shopping at the FYE music store in the Westfield Brandon mall Thursday.”

  7. BillyJoe says:

    “The Times tried asking Gary, but he didn’t respond to a reporter’s phone calls” :D

  8. Mark Crislip says:

    Screw it. A weekend of call, after rounds and new consults and not a single patient had insurance. All my work for free. I’m selling homeopathy.

  9. Can someone please help me team up with GSK? I’ll use the phrase “Advair is awesome!! in every blog post if they’ll send me a free disk once a month. Of course I’m not sure if any of my five readers has asthma too…

  10. MKirschMD says:

    I would like to establish the Society of Homeopathic Institutes for Therapeutics. I think that the acronym for this organization would work well.

  11. Its journal, of course, would be the Bulletin of the Society of Homeopathic Institutes for Therapeutics.

    KA

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