Man, am I glad I didn't fall for this!

Daily Kos comments on an ABC News story that interests me so much that, cancer research meeting or no meeting, I had to take some time to mention it briefly. It concerns "Physician of the Year" awards that the National Republican Congressional Committee's Physicians' Advisory Board has been giving out. It turns out that the only qualification necessary for one of these awards is a hefty donation to the Republican National Committee. The problem is, some physicians are posting the award plaques in their office and mentioning the award on their CVs, giving the false impression that they won something that required more than simple cash.

The reason this story interests me so much is that these guys were after me to join the Physicians' Advisory Board for months and months last year. The first time they called my office and left a message I was intrigued but wary. I didn't return their call, but when they called back, my secretary got more information and took a message. What she relayed to me was that they wanted me to join what was described as an advisory board of physicians who would be consulted by Congressional representatives for advice on health policy issues. They did not mention any connection to the Republican Party at all. It all sounded a bit fishy to me. Something didn't add up, but I wasn't sure exactly what it was. So I did a little digging. Although I can't find the original links (mainly because they're buried under the proliferation of links related to the story above), what I found out was that this was a fundraising scam for the Republican Party. Basically, they would invite physicians to join this "advisory board" and then only later, after they agreed to be on this "board," would hit them up for money.

Learning this, I simply ignored all further phone calls. They were quite persistent, though, and always left an 800 number to call back, which actually made me even more suspicious. They called several times over the next few months, with the frequency increasing right before the election in November. It got so bad that my secretary asked me to take one calls and tell them off. I told her what I had learned, and the next time they called she was happy to tell them once and for all (with my approval) that I was most certainly not interested. After the election, the calls stopped just as abruptly as they had begun.

And now this story.

Man, am I glad I didn't let my ego suck me into seriously considering joining this bogus "Advisory Board"! I could have been one of those physicians using the "Physician of the Year" award on my CV and feeling really stupid right now. Instead, I get to savor the pleasure of realizing that I did not fall for this con. I even found out that it's not new. It's been going on at least since 2002.


  1. I honestly don't remember if I am or not. I may have filled out one of their forms once, but I refuse to buy the book.


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