Monday, February 10, 2014

Merit Badge Medicine

In Mel Brooks' 1974 Western Blazing Saddles, he famously misquoted the line, "Badges?  We don't need no stinking Badges!".

In medicine, there is always a debate on whether a provider needs ACLS, ATLS, PALS, etc. to be qualified to obtain employment.  these particular cards have created a "cottage Industry" that relies on new and recertification participants to keep the ball rolling.

There is a need for constant education and preparation, but whether obtaining these certificates imply high quality and standardized abilities is another matter.  The education program is also based on guidelines and opinions that are not necessarily evidence based.

Everyone should know the guidelines who practice Emergency medicine, but do not necessarily need a card or merit badge to affirm ability. 

ACLS (Advance Cardiac Life Support) has come a long way to simplify the process for non-clinicians by eliminating the complexity.  They have also learned that retention of the information is so limited they have installed the KISS (keep it simple stupid) approach to get people to participate.

Providers with board certification in their respective specialties should be encouraged to stay up-to-date, but not necessarily required to have a "Badge".

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