ACEP Scientific Assembly Day 1


The first day in Boston was busy.

Got up early and wandered about the city. Generally pretty clean, people are friendly, architecture is unique.

Got to the conference and our new President Angela Gardener was speaking during the opening session. She is a very engaging speaker.

Watched Paul Begala’s opening address. I expected him to generate more controversy with his speach. Instead, he seemed subdued. He was entertaining, with many amusing anecdotes, but I thought his speech lacked substantive content. Kind of like sitting at a bar and talking politics. Entertaining, but I was looking for more.

Bagala 1 (Small)
Then I get back to the hotel and turn on the TV. Guess who is on CNN live. Right. Paul Baldyga. Same tie, too. It’s like some freaky Hitchcock film or something.

Bagala 2 (Small)
I have a friend that sits on the ACEP Council – which votes on resolutions and policies for the College. He told me that they did a poll of all the councilors asking whether health care was a right. Reportedly 49% of more than 300 physicians in the meeting believed that health care is a right.
That just amazes me. Then the thought just popped into my head. If health care really is a right, why don’t people who are refused health care file civil rights lawsuits against health care providers? If health care is a right in this country, those who don’t receive their right should have some recourse.

I sat through several lectures and the content was excellent. The quality of speakers at the conference has thus far been excellent. Thom Mayer is brilliant.

Met the Plaster family at the EP Monthly floor display. It looks like Mark – author of the Night Shift series – will start putting up some posts in the Call Room, too. Between ERP and Mark, I think I’m going to get muscled out on talent. Do have to admit that it was cool hearing someone mention what a great writer this “WhiteCoat” guy was while I was standing right there. Hopefully he didn’t see me kick the ground and say “aw shucks.”

Miss the family already. Junior WhiteCoat got in trouble in school and was hoping that I’d still bring him a souvenir.

Even got a cool picture of the Boston sunset.

Life is good.

Added bonus: My hotel is 1.5 blocks from a kickass Japanese restaurant. Sushi for dinner!

Sunset (Small)


  1. Excellent point about the law suits, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to start seeing some. The courtroom has been a means of introducing social agenda.

    If the jury can be convinced that there was a duty to provide care, the same jury that comes in for a fever, but won’t take acetaminiphen, because they wan’t to prove to you that they have a fever. If the lawyer can convince a jury that there was an obligation, then I would expect that jury to decide for the plaintif.

    Then it is up to the appeals courts to decide where this ends.

  2. Hi WC – interesting post and beautiful sunset. 🙂

    Glad you’re having a good time and I heard that about that WhiteCoat guy… he is a great writer. 🙂

    I am surprised that 49% believe it’s a right. They must not be the blogging docs.

    I’d be curious to know how that compares to physicians across the country. ?? Or how representative of physician opinion the docs at the White House were on Monday…vs the docs in the million med march last week. ??

    • Not yet. I have my eye out for him, though.
      I thought I met Scalpel, but when I asked the guy if he had a medical blog, he said he didn’t and looked at me like I was nuts.

  3. Welcome to Boston! Glad you’re enjoying your visit here.

    I suspect that the percentage of docs practicing emergency medicine who believe health care is a right is higher than the percentage in other specialties because, thanks to EMTALA, emergency health care IS a right in this country. I also think that most people who say health care is a right mean that they think it should be, not that they believe it already is. There are no civil rights lawsuits on this because there is no statute saying that health care actually is a right.

  4. Hey WC, welcome to Boston. If your looking for a good restaurant, let me recommend Tratoria Il Panino, in the North End. Hell any restaurant in the North End will be pretty good. To get there take the green or orange line of the T to Haymarket and head across area over the highway. It’ll be hard to miss.

    Hope you enjoy the city.

  5. All of our other rights, free speech, right to assemble, right to bear arms, etc., etc., place no burden on any one else to provide something to us free of charge. Only the so-called “right” to healthcare makes such a claim. Rights are innate, aren’t they? Isn’t that what the founders said? It ain’t a right if someone else has to provide for it out of their own pocket or by virtue of their labor.

  6. The problem is that Americans think they have a right to health, not health care, and that this “right” entails no responsibility on their part.

  7. Every right comes with associated responsibilities. You want the right to a trial by jury? Then you have to be willing to serve on a jury. You want freedom to practice your religion? Then you should lay off other people about theirs.

    You want a right to health care? Then you have to be willing to be healthy.

  8. From the very little I know about ACEP vs. AAEM, you’re in the more commie of the two’s scientific assemblies; ergo, the “49%” nonsense and Paul Begala.

  9. Welcome to Boston. Hope you enjoy the city.

    Our new benefits package just came out at my large Boston Hosp. for 2010. We have 3 choices of BCBS but here is the flippen kicker. With each choice there is a different price attached depending on how much you make per year. If one makes $0-30,000 you pay X, if you make $30,001 to $59, pay X plus 30 dollars and if you make $60,000 and above you pay X plus 60 dollars extra every two weeks. An extra $1,500 dollars per year out of my paycheck to help pay for the employees that are in the lower tiers. (We should inquire if we can deduct this on our tax’s).

    • “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. What country are we living in? May be time to consider moving to a “no income tax state” like Nevada or Texas.
      Health care is NOT a “right” since rights are not claims on “goods” but protected freedoms to act.

    • You may be referring to Dr. Plaster. That’s not me.
      My son is home causing trouble.
      Thanks for stopping by the display, though.

  10. Nowhere in the Constitution is health care included as a right. This concept has been pushed by progressive liberals who want the government to create a nanny state of dependency.

  11. I voted that “healthcare is a right” because we have a legal obligation to provide emergency treatment under EMTALA. So maybe it’s “emergency healthcare is a right”. But I don’t think it’s as simple as yes or no. Are we talking about basic preventive care and dental cleaning? Care for some guy who works hard and tries to take care of himself but still has an MI? If you are talking about elective or cosmetic surgery, which can also be considered healthcare, then certainly not. Subsidizing care for a 22 year old on Medicaid who smokes a pack a day, has a new iPhone, but says he/she can’t afford Ibuprofen and comes to the ED all the time expecting free care? Ridiculous, but there you have it (thanks EMTALA). If we are legally obligated to give healthcare to everyone we should have at least some protection from lawsuits. And Amen to BlackSails and others regarding the sad lack of personal responsibility in our society!!

  12. Pingback: #ACEP13 Day 1 - October 14, 2013! - EM IM Doc

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