Barack Obama
Obama standing with his arms folded and smiling
44th President of the United States
In office January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
Succeeded by Donald Trump
United States Senator from Illinois
In office January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate from the 13th district
In office January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II(1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 55)Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Robinson (m. 1992)
  • Malia
  • Sasha
Relatives See Family of Barack Obama
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (2009)Profile in Courage Award (2017)

The unfairness of the ABIM and the treatment of doctors by the HMO's

I was an internationally recognized basic scientist and a cardiologist. I was a Commissioned Officer in the PHS at the NIH 1980-1983. Nobody in academic medicine had boards. The HMO's did not take over until the reign of the Clintons, and the HMO's prevented doctors with many years of experience who were not board certified from being able to practice on patients in their system, making it difficult to get work. My problem is even more difficult. I feel I was blackballed from taking the exam.
I had a typical 2-year fellowship 1983-1985, in 1992 the Cardiology fellowship became a 3-year fellowship and now is virtually a four year fellowship. When I applied to take the Board in 1993 I was told I needed another year to take the cardiology Boards. While my fellowship was 2 years, the three years at the NIH in the PHS was supposed to count as a third year, but the ABIM would not recognize it. I tried to get a third year but I believe I was also blackballed from that as well by my boss. Thus I went to Harvard on an 18 month sabbatical in Nuclear Medicine/Nuclear Cardiology and became certified in Nuclear Med and Nuc Cardiology when the ABIM would not give me credit for this year either. It was difficult but I managed to support my family. Without boards in Cardiology I was unable to get anything that was not short lived. In 2006 I had an opportunity to meet my Dean from my residency at Cornell Med where I did my internship and residency, he asked why I did Nuclear Medicine and why I did not just take Cardiology Boards. I told him, and he said he was President of the ABIM in the 1980's and anyone who became internationally recognized in science like I was, was always Board Eligible. He told me to write to the Board and tell them what he said. In 2007 I received a letter saying I was board eligible, only 22 years after my fellowship, and the fellowship was becoming a 4 year fellowship. There is no way to make up for this extra training on an exam. In addition the ABIM absolutely refuses to send me the letters that led to my not being allowed to take the exam. My boss was such a vindictive man with no positive attributes I was aware of, I could never believe he would have that power. Noone I know in Cardiology with any stature thinks anything of Dr, Cohn's career. But then I found out that the Dean of Stony Brook at that time was the President of the Board in the 1990's, so that it was collusion that led to this decision. .
There needs to be a rule that protects someone like me from being excliuded because of an exam after 25 years experience and never a malpractice suit. Indeed, I am one of the best doctors I know. But I cannot get a reasonable job. My CV is just thrown in the Garbage because without Board certification my work could lead to no reimbursement from the Insurers. The last time I asked the ABIM for copies of the letters or decision stopping me from taking the boards, I was told if I ever ask again they will never let me take any exam in the future.
We have survived, but never had money to take a reasonable vacation. We drive cars from 2002 and 2003 with over 100,000 miles. This is wrong. I am an MD graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and have a PHD from the University of Maryland in Physics. I trained at Cornell and Harvard and Stony Brook (Stony Brook was a mistake!) I have published in the major journals in the USA. I feel I was a threat to my chief and that led to the problem. We live in an old broken down house without finances to renew or even fix.
I am fearful that with the new Healthcare plan I will not be able to practice anywhere. In the last 6 years I have been employed less than 30% of the time.
I respectfully request that you take any steps that are necessary to change the unacceptable policies of HMO's which limit physicians from practicing their specialties. .

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