Medicine's Ten Greatest Discoveries

Steven B. Harris sbharris at
Fri Sep 4 00:14:21 EST 1998

In <35EF6E60.F5C6A51F at> asmodeus at writes: 

>Actually you could still blame FDR -- I believe it was under his
>administration that the AMA was allowed to have its monopoly on

The AMA does not have a monopoly on medicine.  That is held by the
various state Medical Boards.  Which the AMA does not control, believe
it or not.  Rather, you, the voter, do.  If you want your state to give
up the idea of physician licenses, nobody's going to stop you.  All it
takes is an act of the legislature (composed mostly of lawyers, not
doctors), or in many states like California, a popular ballot
initiative.  The Feds can't stop you, since licensure of doctors is
entirely a state process (there may be some problems when it gets to
use of Federally controlled drugs, but there are ways around that also,
as states which have their own controlled substance licenses, eg Utah,
have shown how to do).

The AMA has a larger degree of control over medical education (how many
new doctors there will be), but even that isn't total.  And it hardly
counts, anyway.  As noted, the voters decide that the products of
medical schools are the only ones allowed to have licenses to practice
medicine.  If the voters decided tomorrow not to do this, the AMA could
holler all it liked, and it would happen anyway.

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

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