Awkward ABR Propaganda

Little known fact, but the ABR recently added a public member to the Board of Governors. She recently wrote a hello article for The BEAM.

How boards like the ABR certify that their members have the requisite skills and knowledge to benefit patients is not well understood by the public, nor by many people in health care. I am learning about the hard and important work done by the ABR, largely behind the scenes and not apparent to the ultimate beneficiaries, the American people.

It’s also not well understood by the ABR. How exactly does the ABR certify radiologist skill again?

When I teach MBA students who are interested in health care about how organizations like the ABR ensure quality, they are surprised. They know more about the roles that government and private insurance companies play in what practitioners can and can’t do. They find it reassuring that groups like the ABR operate solely in the public’s interest. They are impressed that even as medical knowledge has explosively expanded, specialty boards have continued to meet their missions.

Solely in the public’s interest? Not quite.

It’s true that the public-facing mission of the ABR is “to certify that our diplomates demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skill, and understanding of their disciplines to the benefit of patients.”

But I guess no one told the new governor and first public member of the board that the ABR, by its own bylaws, acts in the ABR’s best interest.

Section 4.6. Conflicts of Interest. It is the policy of this Corporation that the legal duty of loyalty owed to this Corporation by a Governor serving on the Board of Governors of this Corporation requires the Governor to act in the best interests of this Corporation, even if discharging that duty requires the Governor to support actions that might be contrary to the views, interests, policies, or actions of another organization of which the Governor is a member, or to the discipline of which the Governor is a member. Consistent with a Governor’s duty of loyalty, a person serving as a Governor of this Corporation does not serve or act as the “representative” of any other organization, and his or her “constituency” as a Governor of this Corporation is solely this Corporation and is not any other organization or its members.

Did she not have to sign some sort of absurd legalese-filled contract confirming her unwavering loyalty to the ABR? Because I was asked to just to keep taking my OLA questions last week.

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