Note to Concierge Medicine: Watch Out for the Charlatans Among You!

As reimbursements continue to go down, especially with the Medicaid expansion across the US, and other attempts at reducing costs, more and more physicians will stop taking insurance. This comment is not an attempt to pull at American’s heartstrings with sympathy for doctor pay. It’s a statement. A statement that is anecdotally supported by a recent NY Times article about the increase in concierge medicine practices.


I don’t blame doctors for trying to find ways to stay solvent. As the owner of a new practice, you have to find ways to bring in enough income to cover your expenses. Especially in cities where office rent is exorbitant (ie San Francisco and New York). However, I take umbrage in doctors that will do anything, even outside of their training, to find a way to make a quick buck. This is how decreasing reimbursements will lead to an increase in physicians that are  charlatans. Case in point – one of the doctors in the article is a trained cardiologist but he also specializes in anti-aging medicine and provides fillers for facial wrinkles. I’m sure he will rationalize his decisions but he’s not practicing medicine within his scope of training. There is no cardiology fellowship that teaches you how to correct the parentheses lines in the face! He’s practicing medicine that makes money, regardless of safety and his actual know-how.


I know as a plastic surgeon I sound like the pot calling the kettle black, but I’ve done the training to fill a line in the face, not read an EKG.


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