Not Certified, Just Certifiable

From The Courier-Journal:

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says he is a “board-certified” ophthalmologist — even though the national clearinghouse for such certifications says he hasn’t been for the past five years.

Rand Paul, who practices in Bowling Green, says he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads.

But that entity is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards.

Original movie poster

Lori Boukas, a spokeswoman for the American Board of Medical Specialties, said her organization considers certifications to be valid only if they are done by the 24 groups that have its approval and that of the AMA.

“He is not board-certified,” she said of Paul.


The American Board of Medical Specialties said board certification is important because it enables “patients to determine whether their physicians were appropriately trained and knowledgeable in their specialties.”

The Courier-Journal began seeking comment from Paul Tuesday. When the newspaper tried to interview him at two Louisville events Saturday, he wouldn’t comment.

“I’m not going to go through all that right now,” Paul said while at the Great Eastern National Gun Day Show and JAG Military Show, in Louisville.

Asked when he would talk, Paul said: “Uh, you know, never. … What does this have to do with our election?”

Jesse Benton, his campaign manager, said later Saturday that Paul would only answer questions submitted in writing.


In an interview with The Courier-Journal shortly before the May 18 Republican primary, which he won, Paul said he was certified by both ophthalmological boards.


Along with his wife and father-in-law, Paul founded the National Board of Ophthalmology because the American Board began requiring physicians certified after 1992 to be recertified every 10 years to make sure they were keeping up with medical trends.

The Paul campaign issued a statement Saturday afternoon, saying: “The National Board of Ophthalmology is a non-profit group involved with continuing education and board recertification. It was formed in 1987 by over 200 young ophthalmologists who believed that all ophthalmologists should be recertified. … NBO began recertifying in 2002. It is a completely volunteer organization that pays no salaries.”

According to records with the Kentucky Secretary of State, the organization was first incorporated in Kentucky in 1999. On records in that office, Paul is listed as “owner/president” on some forms and “president” on others.

Asked what requirements the National Board of Ophthalmology has for recertifying doctors, Paul’s wife, Kelley, who is listed on forms as the group’s vice president, said: “I’m not involved in that. I’m not officially talking about that today.'”

After incorporating the board in 1999, Paul allowed it to be dissolved in 2000, when he didn’t file required paperwork with the Kentucky secretary of state’s office.

But he revived it in September 2005, just three months before his certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology was scheduled to lapse.

Paul said in a May interview that he formed the rival board because he had a problem with the organization treating younger doctors — those certified after 1992 — differently from older doctors.

“It annoyed me and a lot of younger ophthalmologists … that people who were 55 years old didn’t have to be recertified and those who were 45 years old did,” he said. “So we thought if it was a rule, a good rule, everybody should obey it.”


The American Board of Ophthalmology requires that doctors take 30 hours of continuing medical education classes each year, review 15 case files and pass a 150-item proctored test. The cost of recertification is about $1,500 every 10 years.

The state of Kentucky requires doctors to obtain 60 hours of continuing medical education over a three-year period — one-third less than the American Board of Ophthalmology — to keep their medical license.

Paul has never sought recognition for his National Board of Ophthalmology from the American Board of Medical Specialties, Boukas said.

The National Board of Ophthalmology doesn’t maintain a website; its standards for certifying doctors and charges for certification couldn’t be determined.


[T]he American Board of Ophthalmology […] has certified more than 29,000 ophthalmologists over the past century and that there are now about 16,000 practicing ophthalmologists certified by the group.

The American Board operates out of an office building in a Philadelphia suburb and has 11 employees, Slembarski said.

The group’s board of directors includes 20 people from around the country, 18 of whom are ophthalmologists.

In comparison, the address for Paul’s group is a UPS Store in Bowling Green.

An Internet search found only seven ophthalmologists other than Paul who say they are members of or are certified by Paul’s group. All say they also are certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology; none returned phone calls to their offices.

From David Weigel at Right Now at The Washington Post:

Rand Paul has responded to a story in the Courier-Journal on the candidate’s history with the American Board of Ophthalmology. The paper reported that Paul was no longer certified by the ABO — the Paul campaign explains that this was a principled stand, and that he could be certified at any time.

“Is it fair that the ophthalmologist down the street can claim board certification, without renewing it, but that a younger ophthalmologist, who passed the same boards, is disallowed?” asks Paul, explaining why he let his certification lapse. “This is the kind of hypocritical power play that I despise and have always fought against. It reminds me of congress passing health care legislation but exempting themselves from their own laws.”

You can read the rest of the statement at the link. Boy, oh boy, Little Randy sure hates hypocrisy! From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Rand Paul, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, refused again Monday to say how much money his medical practice gets from the federal Medicare program, despite a call for transparency by his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway.


The Conway campaign said Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, has demanded sweeping cuts to most federal programs other than Medicare payments to doctors, which he has defended, making him a hypocrite.

“We certainly feel like it’s relevant for a man who has made government spending such a central part of his election campaign to tell the people how much government spending he personally receives,” said Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley.

Paul has confirmed that payments from Medicare and Medicaid β€” two of the largest federal spending programs, providing health care for the elderly and the poor, respectively β€” make up roughly half of his medical income. But he has refused to say how much money he gets from Medicare.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare, refuses to release the information, saying that a 30-year-old agency policy protects doctors from public disclosure of how much taxpayer money they are paid.


By contrast, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which administers the Medicaid program on behalf of the federal government, said Paul has been paid $130,461 in Medicaid funds since 2006, about one-third of the sum he billed the program.


Filed under Democrats, Health and Human Services Department, humor, Medicaid, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

49 responses to “Not Certified, Just Certifiable

  1. MNLatteLiberal

    I LOVE lines 5 and 6 of the eye chart, nonnie. Brilliant poster! Both my wife and I actually broke out laughing at the design and the title. Wow.

    Oh, if Rand Paul only trusted what he saw out of his left eye! But that could lead to depth perception, cure myopia and who knows? – may be even eventual certification by a real Board?

    Thanks for another laugh,
    ~ Latte

    • thanks latte! πŸ™‚

      i wanted to leave the E at the top, because it’s so iconic on an eye chart. i thought egomaniacal was the perfect adjective for little randy. he didn’t like the rules of the real board, so he held his breath until he turned blue, stalked off, and started his very own board. he’s like those little kids nobody could stand, because they wanted everything their way.

  2. writechic

    OMG! Sleazebag. Should I incorporate the Board of Certified Brain Surgeons then certify myself? Egomaniacal indeed!

    • melissa!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

      are you back? i’m so happy to see you!! i missed you!

    • MNLatteLiberal

      I think you’re on to something there, chic. If we incorporate an Idiot Certification Board, we could then periodically certify idiots like Rand and Sarah and Bachmann and Boehner and… In short, we better stock up on heavy stock certificate paper.
      ~ Latte

      • i like that idea! we can make impressive-looking certificates from the ICB, lauding how they personify all the traits we look for. we let them brag about their award, and then we let everyone know what ICB really stands for. πŸ˜€

        • MNLatteLiberal

          We can mask the initials by talking up the republican f-words like family, fiscal, freedom, focus and flag, talk about liberty and precious bodily fluids, and then hide all the initials in ICB. “C” can imply “Conservative”. “I” is independent, which is the teabag buzzword d’jour, and so on.
          Oh, how I would love to bestow the ICB certificate on Limbaugh! After all, he’s already fallen for a couple of faux sites on air. We really need to flesh this one out, nonnie.

          ~ Latte

        • I volunteer to be the scientific advisor to the ICB.

          • awesome! that’ll look good on the letterhead.

          • writechic

            I wanna write the press releases when the Idiots are certified. I guess I need to incorporate a National…no, wait…a World Wide Board of Communication Specialists so I can be certified in public relations first. Some cred, eh? World Wide Certified. That’s the ticket.

            • Oh, I can write the press releases, too. Here I am as “Friendly Neighborhood Vote Wrangler” announcing the winners of the Usenet Kook Awards.


              • now, now, you kids, no fighting! there will be plenty of press releases once we get funding from dick armey. you can take turns.

              • MNLatteLiberal

                Gawd, Vincent,
                That just opened up a FLOOD of memories.

                /nostalgia mode on/
                Back in the good ole soc.culture.soviet days we had our *CERTIFIED* KOAM Dmitry Vulis who posted under many names and ruined careers of many talented lads by complaining to their employers. One of his troll incarnations even came after yours truly back in ’95.

                Btw and fwiw, this Latte holds several “Best of Usenet humor” awards for his “advice” “column” in scs and soc.culture.russian on how to buy a russian bride. Oh, and “Cruel Site of the Month” too. (The site is gone thanks to geocities selling to yahoo. )
                /nostalgia mode off/

                Perhaps I can be a scientific advisor to the scientific advisor?

                ~ Latte

                • Dimitri Vulis–net.legend, winner of the Kook of the Month for May 1996 and the second winner of the Tinfoil Sombrero (when a mere tinfoil beanie won’t do)! You had to deal with him? You poor guy!

                  Congratulations on your “best of Usenet humor awards.” The best I can claim are three awards for excellence in trolling.

                  • ~sniff~ hysterical raisins, bringing people together. ~sniff~

                    • MNLatteLiberal

                      Why do I suddenly have the soundtrack of the Fiddler on the Roof playing in my head? Why do I have images of Babs Streisand…YENTA! Nonnie, the yenta, bringing people together for nearly a hundredth of a century! LMAO.

                      Regarding Vulis, Vincent, he took on many forms and shapes and an acquaintance of mine, another usenet legend Misha Verbitsky compiled an anthology of sorts of the many heads of this hydra. Another and far less notable KOTM who tried hard to bite me was the Right Reverend Colin James III. I am tellin’ ya, this is a real trip down nostalgia lane.

                      Who would have thunk it? During the very month of the Usenet burial at its very place of birth such a memory! Thanks, nonnie!

            • worldwide board of freedom-lovin’ communication specialists. they love when there’s an F word in the title.

            • You can get that World Wide Certified thing from Linda McMahon. It comes with one of those giant belt buckles!

      • writechic

        Now, idiot certification is something I’d feel more comfortable with. Excellent idea! πŸ˜€

  3. Bwahahaha! That is the best eye chart in the history of ophthalmology.

  4. Well, the eyes have it! And good news girls, my NALPI certification should be arriving any day now by special courier from Tijuana and it will get a nice frame and then I can put out my shingle and proclaim my membership in the National Association of Lady Parts Inspectors. I sure hope it comes with a badge! Dr. Nick says it should arrive anytime now.

    • congrats, jerry! maybe you can now act as counselor to john ensign. as tom coburn, ol’ john likes to use ob/gyns as his doctor, so a lady parts inspector would probably be okay with him. you can be my unnamed reliable source and tell me everything he tells you.


    Paul is just another republican mushroom fertilized by the constant stream of bullcaca from the Limbaugh led lemmings. They have a history of doing things their way and then misrepresenting the facts to glorify themselves while America flounders under their “leadership.” Obama does not get a pass but so far he at least seems to be trying to right a sinking ship he was stupid enough to believe could be saved. The damage is to severe to be rescued and the electorate to ignorant to deserve the effort anyway!

    • hello redacted,

      welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

      little randy is a spoiled little brat who wants things his way. when he doesn’t like the rules, he just ignores them and makes up his own, very much like rushbo. rushbo thinks all drug addicts should be in jail, but when he got caught, he excepted himself from his own rules.

      i can’t say that i’m thrilled with a lot of what obama has done (though he’s done a lot that i do like), but i think that his heart is in the right place. he’s got to realize that he’s the boss, and he has to stop kowtowing to the rethugs and the corporations. let’s hope that happens soon.

  6. Pingback: Pelosi Puts Tanaka in PCW Title Match, Obama’s Oil Leak « Political Championship Wrestling

  7. PSzymeczek

    Rand Paul would never get anywhere near my eyes!

  8. down here, latte! the thread ran out of room. time for my musical number…

    is this the blogger than i carried,
    is this the other one at play?
    i don’t remember growing older,
    when did they?

    p.s. your first link didn’t work.

    • MNLatteLiberal

      /thunderous applause @ the musical number/

      I suck at closing tags, nonnie. Here’s the link . In case I screwed up again,

      Who, day and night, scrambles posters for the spinning,
      Feeds the hungry liberals, skewers the teabaggers?
      And who has the right, as master of the house,
      To have the final word on the homepage?

      Our nannie, our nine-nine-nine-nine-nonnie! Tradition.
      Our nannie, our nine-nine-nine-nine-nonnie! Tradition.

      Who takes the time to make a proper post,
      A funny post, a kosher post?
      Who must find obscure links and points,
      So nonnie’s free to out the holy crooks?

      The orthodoxy, the orthodoxy! Tradition!
      The orthodoxy, the orthodoxy! Tradition!

      • yayyy!!!! πŸ˜€ i love the nonnie song!!! πŸ˜†

        p.s. i feexed the leenk in your original comment in case somebody doesn’t see the correction down here at the bottom.

  9. jeb

    If you’re checking Repug eyes, all you need do is prescribe rose-colored glasses. No certfication needed for that!

  10. Montana

    You gotta love all the conservatives in Kentucky who voted for Rand Paul and brought him to national exposure, priceless. Let’s face it they will try to vote this liar in but we can only wait and see if there is other skeletons in his closet, oh yeah he is not a racist, I repeat, he is not a racist. Great thing is we are talking about Kentucky, so being a racist maybe a positive, we will see. Yee Haw!

    • hey montana! πŸ™‚

      i heard one of the talking heads on tv (or maybe i read it) that the people of kentucky really don’t like to be embarrassed by their politicians. if that’s true, boy oh boy did they knock on the wrong door this time! then again, if they didn’t find beanball bunning embarrassing, they have a pretty high threshold for embarrassment.