(Speaker adopts very pompous tone) You may remember a little while back that some left wing seditious journalist criticized the sanctity of our free and opaque market system. He claimed that a leading back surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic — the Cleveland Clinic, I say, yes, the very epitome of all that is good and great about American capitalist medicine — was somehow putting his own interests above that of his patients as he used a surgical device that he and the clinic both promoted.
Well this rabble rousing has got completely out of hand. Now a presumably Frenchy cheese-eating surrender monkey type who claims to be a surgeon also specializing in back surgery is also on the hunt. The "surgeon" in question, one Aaron Filler, makes outrageous claims about surgeons — including those who’ve been to medical school and therefore have unimpeachable ethics. He even suggests that those involved in developing and marketing devices claim that they get better results using them that are not replicable by other surgeons.
Nonetheless, concern about an ethical crisis affecting patients was
reinforced by discussions at various professional meetings during 2006.
Formal scientific publications on a new type of spinal device had
revealed extraordinarily high success rates and explicitly reported
“zero” device-related complications (Schnake et al Spine Journal 3:159S
2003). However, a separate study involving only surgeons with no
financial interest revealed an unusually high rate of “device related”
complications and failures (Grob et al, Spine 30:234, 2005). <SNIP>Differences in reported scientific results seemed to reflect the
difference between conflicted versus non-conflicted investigators.
He also casts aspersions on the completely above-board and reputable relations between professional societies of surgeons and their respectable colleagues in the medical device industry.
Many surgeons receive manufacturer funds to attend training meetings in
places like Vail, Cancun and Las Vegas, advertised as academic medical
education events. I recently organized a session at one such meeting
that brought in several nationally respected neurosurgeons to teach new
diagnostic techniques and treatments to reduce the use of implants. Meeting sponsors from the device industry objected and the session was canceled.
Hang on a moment. He said "surgeonS". That means there’s an epidemic of Frenchies breaking out in the ranks.
But I’ve figured out this so-called surgeon’s motives! He’s too lazy to do any surgery! Instead he’s written a book called "Do You Really Need back Surgery". Well it’s not too hard to see his game! Instead of getting up early and cutting away in the great tradition of American capitalist physicians, he wants to sit on his rear and collect royalties. Well, that’s not the spirit of grit and true enterprise that this country’s medical care establishment was built on.
I suggest that the North American Spine Society quickly sets up a Committee on UnAmerican Spine Surgical Activities and drags this Filler, and his fellow travelers like Association of Ethical Spine Surgeons‘ President Dr. Charles Rosen, into hearings where their true Frenchy leanings can be exposed to the world. Then the real American back surgeons can thankfully go back, undisturbed, to operating on anyone who’ll lie down.