In a friendly face-off with the AMA and other organized medical groups, Dr. Palestrant ably demonstrates that the AMA does not accurately represent many physicians. Of the 800,000 physicians less than 250,00 are AMA members.
What is fascinating to me is that SERMO began only three years ago as a meeting place for grand rounds, and physician to physician interaction regarding interesting clinical cases and treatments. Members must be authenticated as duly licensed and credentialled MDs or DOs. Sermo's 110,000 members represent all specialties of medicine from family practice to all specialties.
Members communicate almost in real time posting in different categories of interest, ranging from business, politics, practice management to each specialty. SERMO also surveys it's membership regarding clinical issues and treatment. The high interest in health reform and AMA positions on health reform stimulated active discussions on the SERMO boards, and it became apparent that 90% of participants did not support AMA positions. Dr. Palestrant decided to provide a more formal poll of issues. In the limited time available for sound bytes he was unable to elaborate on all the other issues of concern to physicians.
Sermo has unexpectedly developed into a sounding board for previously alienated physicians, not it's original intent.
SERMO has only been in existence less than three years.
Not only will SERMO continue to play an important part in health reform discussions, but it will also have a moderating effect on the AMA from a formerly silent minority (majority) of physicians.
Hat's off to Daniel Palestrant MD another courageous physician and true visionary.