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06/22/2015    Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM

The Road to Parity

I always read Dr. Hultman’s articles and
letters. But of the hundreds he has written
over the last 20 years, the article he wrote on
“parity” between MDs and DOs (June/July issue,
Podiatry Management Magazine) is his most
important and incisive. Paraphrasing his main
point, DPMs get “bogged down” in the
nomenclature of the DPM degree letters, causing
disagreement and in-fighting. Ultimately that
has led us away from real parity.

Dr. Hultman believes the parity issue is really
one of licensure and not degree letters. He
firmly believes that parity is obtaining a
plenary license for DPMs just as it is for DOs
and MDs. The degree letters are irrelevant.

As a resident of California I get to read local
and regional newspapers. There is a perspective
I can give to this issue that Dr. Hultman
cannot, as he is part of an executive
committee. Obamacare has qualified millions of
CA residents to obtain Medicaid insurance (2.2
million just since January)* for which there is
not even a threshold number of doctors to take
care of them. CMA is under enormous pressure to
provide for these people, (not the least of
which hundreds of thousands are children), all
new to the schema of medical care. According
to LA Times, 30% of CA insured are now on
Medicaid*. What can they do?

For CMA, the question is simple: Will
California get its licensed physicians from
Bangladesh or America? Even with renewed
licensure of nurse practitioners and physician
extenders, the numbers are not good. CMA sees a
large cadre of well-educated and trained DPM’s
right here, under their noses. Even better,
these physicians are entirely American trained.

Obviously Dr. Hultman cannot discuss this
publicly and he cannot discuss it with his co-
committee members. But the CA physician
shortage is here and it is a true emergency.
DPM’s need to put their “degree initial
arguments aside” and concentrate on licensing
parity, where the real cross in the road ends.
The sooner the infighting about degree initials
ends, the sooner we will get parity. I urge
every DPM to read his article. Its truths are
self-evident.

*http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-
gorman-medi-cal-obamacare-california-20140812-
story.html

Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM, San Jose, CA

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