U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul claims he is a “board certified” ophthalmologist, and he is, kind of, but then, he owns the board called the National Board of Ophthalmology. Paul incorporated the NBO in 1999 and serves as president. His wife is vice president.
According to the Louisville, Ky., Courier-Journal, Paul’s board is not nationally recognized:
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.
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.
Boukas of the American Board of Medical Specialties said its 24 member groups, including the widely recognized American Board of Ophthalmology, have stricter standards for board certification than the other groups.
The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure does not verify doctors’ specialty training and instead directs people to the American Board of Medical Specialties to determine if a doctor is board-certified.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recognizes board certification only by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Shortly before the May 18 primary, Paul told the Courier-Journal that he was certified by both boards.
According to records with the Kentucky Secretary of State, the organization [NBO] 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.”
When the newspaper tried to interview Paul over the weekend, he wouldn’t comment. Asked when he would talk, Paul said: “Uh, you know, never … What does this have to do with our election?”
As they always say in the courtroom dramas, It goes to credibility.
Paul is just the latest in a line of current candidates for Senate who seem incapable of telling the truth about their experience or qualifications. Mark Kirk, Richard Blumenthal and Darryl Issa have all been caught exaggerating their mostly nonexistent military records.
Paul, on the other hand, is exaggerating a medical certification, something that says he has passed a test and is competent to treat people with eye conditions.
As a not-very-far-in-the-closet Libertarian, Paul favors personal choice and freedom from government regulation. So, rather than submit to some stupid national board certification, he made up his own board and crowned himself and his wife the executive officers. Sweet, no?
But he also has spouted his Libertarian views about how the market should regulate itself. For instance, the government shouldn’t prohibit smoking in a restaurant; that’s the purview of the owner, and if people don’t like it, they can take their custom elsewhere. Same with segregation — if you own a store and don’t want black folks shopping there, it’s perfectly within your rights to turn them away. If white people think that’s a bad thing, they can take their trade elsewhere.
Likewise, when his patients find out that Dr. Rand Paul has eschewed submitting to national board certification and instead certified himself, they might prefer to go to an ophthalmologist who has actually passed a test to become board certified.
And maybe his supporters will prefer to vote for someone who, in time-honored tradition, at least waits until they get elected to start lying.