Since when does a pharmaceutical executive become CEO of the American College of Cardiology (ACC)?
Call me crazy, but does this strike anyone else as strange? Are physicians now officially incapable of leading the ACC or any other major professional doctor organization? Have we not learned anything about the appearance of co-mingling pharmaceutical or medical device company executives with doctors?
Maybe this is happening thanks to our grand health care reform efforts underway. Maybe cardiology future battles will not be fought at the bedside, but rather in the boardroom or the halls of Congress. When government calls the shots, lobbying is king, not 60-minute door-to-balloon times.
Need more Regulations? Check. Need some Appropriateness Criteria? Check. Guidelines? Check. Steering committees? Check. Ways to keep industry at scientific sessions? Check. Need an industry thought-leader to write white papers on physician payment reform? Check.
What was I thinking? After all, pharmaceutical executives have "unique skills" and are accustomed to back-room deal-making, facing regulatory hurdles, basking in paperwork, and getting great benefits for themselves! They know how to schmooze and mollycoddle the political class much better than doctors do, so why not turn to them for advise? I get the plan – it’s brilliant! Who needs clinical cardiologists for leadership positions in their professional societies?
Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?