I spent part of the day today with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He is, of course, a very impressive guy: a physician, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, an upstart politician, a hands-on doctor in places like Sudan and New Orleans, and one of the most powerful people in our government.
Based on my observations today, Senator Frist is a highly viable Presidential candidate. His intelligence, competence, judgment and reliability cannot be questioned.
Yeah, that Frist, no one can question his judgment or competence, right?
Ignore if you can Frist’s belief that HIV may be spread by tears and mosquitoes and his video diagnosis of Terri Schiavo which proved to be not only unethical but dead wrong, does AssRocket not keep up with the news of the day?
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did not meet all the requirements needed to keep his medical license active, even though he gave paperwork to Tennessee officials indicating he had, his office acknowledged Tuesday.
Tennessee requires licensed doctors to complete 40 hours of continuing medical education every two years. Frist, a heart-lung surgeon considering a 2008 presidential run, submitted a license renewal form to the Tennessee Health Department stating he has fulfilled that requirement.
“Generally speaking, the question is, is this an oversight?” [George Eckles of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners] said. “This is a new rule that has just gone into effect … however, if it turned out to be willful misrepresentation, that would be certainly something that implies dishonesty or lying about credentials. We would have a different attitude about that, and that would likely come before the board in a hearing.”
Dan Warlick, a Nashville lawyer who represents doctors before the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, said a case like Frist’s probably would be taken seriously.
“They have been routinely revoking licenses for physicians who have misrepresented to the board what they have done. Medicine changes. If you’re telling them you’re keeping up, and you’re not, that would be a very significant problem for the board to have to deal with.”
Tennessee officials set the continuing medical education requirement in 2002. Starting with renewal applications filed in January 2005, doctors had to have completed 40 hours of education in the two years preceding their filing.
A renewal application Frist filed in February, signed on his behalf by his accountant, mentions the continuing education requirement, but Lehigh said Frist may have been unaware of the change.
Tennessee doctors are required to retain proof that they participated in such programs in case the Board of Medical Examiners audits them. Doctors do not have to submit such evidence when they renew their license every two years.
State law says that doctors who fail to do their continuing medical education “will be subject to disciplinary action.”