By John Carruthers, staff writer, October 01, 2011
In the effort to distribute limited health care funds, there is arguably no committee more important than the AMA’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC). Dermatologist Bruce Deitchman, MD, served on the committee as a member or alternate member for seven years.
“If doctors are not involved in determining their own destinies, their destinies will be determined by people who do not know medicine.”
- He first became involved with the RUC in 2000 when he was appointed to the Academy’s Health Care Finance Committee. His curiosity about the process quickly grew, and he was soon promoted to attend RUC meetings by committee heads Brett Coldiron, MD, and Daniel Siegel, MD, MS.
- In addition to his practice and teaching at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Deitchman volunteered more than 15 hours a week toward securing fair valuation for his colleagues. His efforts helped defend the continued advancement of academic medicine, a position he was convinced to adopt by Dr. Michael Bigby, who he called an indispensable part of the RUC effort on behalf of dermatology.
- “Most importantly, it was a privilege to be able to have a voice in ensuring a fairer distribution of the limited resources that are available for medical care,” he said. “Even though I was a dermatologist, once you are at the RUC you wear your RUC hat, which means that despite your specialty, it is your commitment to ensure fairness for all specialties. That’s why younger physicians must get involved in the process. If they don’t, they’ll find that the trend toward having non-doctors make decisions for all doctors will only accelerate.”
To nominate a physician, visit www.aad.org/membersmakingadifference