Merit Badges

I got to spend my afternoon today taking my recertification in ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support). It’s one of the merit badges thar physicians have to keep current in and be recertified in every so often. While I understand that there needs to be some method by which competence can be verified and maintained, I’m still not certain that this is the best way to do it.

At the moment, the list of things I must keep current in continues to grow:
BLS (q2 years)
PALS (q2 years)
ACLS (q2 years)
ATLS (q4 years)
State Licensure (q2 years)
Board Certification x2 (q5 years with testing q10 years).

It’s not even the cost of all of this (although that is substantial) that bothers me. It’s that so many of these requirements are so artificial in so many ways. If you want to see whether or not I’m competent in the evaluation and treatment of a trauma patient, for example, come watch me in the real world. Evaluate me as I’m doing my job…watch me working with real trauma patients. Then you’ll see that I can really do it.

P.S. I passed today. I’m good for 4 more years.

Categories: Work | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Merit Badges

  1. Congrats on passing, for the whatever that’s worth. 🙂

    “If you want to see whether or not I’m competent in the evaluation and treatment of a trauma patient, for example, come watch me in the real world. Evaluate me as I’m doing my job…watch me working with real trauma patients” –> I think for an attending that would be great…and FAR more useful than a pointless test on dummies.

    (I’m getting ATLS cert in another month at the start of my EM residency…I think I’d be far more nervous if it was going to be on a real patient than a dummy. :P)

    Also…BLS is perhaps the most pointless certfication there is…it’s VERY hard to mess up…infact…if they just send a reminder email: “Remember, chest compression…greater than 1 inch….stayin’ alive…” And that’s all, I think it’d be the equivelent of 3/4 of the BLS course…

  2. Multiple typos…clicked post before correcting them….oh well…

    I’m also a huge fan of ellipses…

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