Doctors and nurses often have an “alphabet soup” after their names, representing certifications, memberships, and/or degrees. While many physicians are well-acquainted with the organizations in their particular discipline, patients usually are not. Patients, then, are at significant risk for being treated by frauds claiming to be “board certified” simply because they have a certificate from one of these “organizations”.
Already targets for identity theft by virtue of their high-paying jobs, doctors and nurses are at significant risk by these fraudulent organizations too. If they are so unethical as to pose as legitimate organizations and companies, what makes you think they would treat your sensitive personal and professional information as private and confidential?
If you are unsure about a particular group or organization, you can check the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for contact information.
The ABIM is asking that anyone who is contacted for joining such a group to notify them immediately. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Certainly, if you know of someone using fraudulent credentials, you should report them to the appropriate authorities. In your residency program, you would probably report it to Risk Management and the hospital’s credentialing officers.
Here’s the link to the press release again: Warning regarding scam “Certification Boards”
Identity theft and fraud are huge. And unfortunately, our residency programs do not teach us enough about them- how they happen or how to recognize them. As such, within the next few weeks, RookieDoctor.com will be releasing information on identity theft and what you can do o protect yourself.