I wrote about the President’s photo op with a bunch of people in white coats, pointing out that few MD’s wear white coats nowadays.

But who are those folks in the white coats? Individuals, or do they represent large organizations?

Well, this AP photo has some names.

Dr. Roland Goertz

That name sounds familiar, and sure enough, he is the President Elect of the AAFP, and used to serve on their board of directors.

He has an MBA and has a long history of involvement in the medical establishments of Texas and the AAFP.

He promises

As president-elect of the AAFP, Goertz advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.

Of course, he is only representing himself in the photo op, because I doubt most busy Family Docs are aware that he is using his office to push through a political agenda without asking us our opinion.

At least, as a member of the AAFP, nobody bothered to ask my opinion, but then I’m just a nobody, a peon who pays dues without the big shots in the academy bothering to figure out what I think.

The only other doctor there is Dr. Renee Jenkins, of the AAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics. Undoubtably she represents her academy, which tends to support every progressive agenda in the world and who will, of course, benefit from being able to bill for preventive medicine and counseling, which is a lot of their work.

Stephen Hanson, however, is not a physician but a PA who runs a company that can advise you on how to hire a Physician assistant into your practice.

Well, I’ve always worked in rural areas with physician extenders (PA’s and Nurse practitioners). They tend to follow the rules and check sheets, which should please government bureaucrats who want everything in detail, never mind that the important things will be lost in the trivia, or that the depth of their experience and training is different than physicians.

My only worry is that the government will now offer you care by a physician extender to save money.

Dr. Christopher Lillis, an internist from Frederickstown Virginia, is not identified as a physician by the AP.

His local paper says:

Doctors for America, a grass-roots lobby organization that Lillis has been active in, recommended him to the White House staff. He received an invitation Monday night to attend the ceremony.

The organization claims 16000 members.

But the AMA’s American Medical News notes:

Renamed organization gathers physicians’ voices

Doctors for America is asking physicians to share their perspectives on health reform via the organization’s Web site (www.drsforamerica.org).

The organization formed a year ago as Doctors for Obama to support the presidential candidate’s health reform proposal.

Ah, can you say “astroturf”, doc?

Barbara Crane is a nurse, and on the board of the American Nurses Association.

More importantly, she is president of the “National Federation of Nurses”

The NFN represents more than 70,000 nurses in six state nurses’ associations, including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Based on a federated model, the NFN stresses the autonomy of each member organization.

The last white coat is Julie Babich.

I googled, and can’t find anything about her, although the AP article identifies her as a “Health care worker” or as a “registered nurse”.

Curious…most folks have a footprint on the web, but not Julie… nothing on Obama’s campaign website… nothing published in medical journals at the Pub Med site…only a Facebook page whose photo resembles the one in scrubs in the AP photo, which says she is associated with the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

So there you have it.

The president of a doctor’s group whose members didn’t know that they were supporting the bill, and are probably against it.(AAFP).

The president of a doctor’s group who probably do support the bill.(AAP)

A guy who will make money placing Physician assistants’ in your practice.

A head of a small nurses’ union.

An Obama activist.

And an unknown student who must be a doctor because she wears scrubs, like in the TV show, but is called a “nurse” by the AP and whom I suspect is a medical student at UIUC


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at HeyDoc Xanga blog.

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