The micturition contest (no pun intended) in regards to self-referral practices, particularly within urology groups continues.
In the latest diaglogue between The Pathology Blawg and In-Office Pathology co-founder, Mr. Bernie Ness, Mr. Ness writes that "I have never met a pathologist in my 10 years of private consulting before IOP who knew what the positivity rate was for their lab. NEVER. Pathology is the absolute dumbest profession I have ever seen in my life. I have never seen a group of professionals so clueless as to the rules and regs that govern them."
Someone told me many years ago never to send an e-mail to someone you wouldn't want forwarded or put on a website. I learned that lesson the hard way years ago as a senior resident/junior staff pathologist in the Army. Even if you are right and have the data that you think supports your point, think about who may or can see this.
Many years ago, while head coach of the New York Jets, Herman Edwards once said "You play to win the game. Hello? You play to win the game." In more recent years, when referring, specifically to athletes texting or posting content online, ESPN plays a soundbite of him saying "Think before you hit send!"
Think about that message being forwarded and think before you hit send. Good advice.
Confident Mr. Ness was aware of the risks sharing his innermost thoughts with a blogger and put them in writing. Probably the first time I have seen pathology called "the absolute dumbest profession" but perhaps I am not reading the right material.
He is welcome to his opinion. Or a second opinion for that matter. Of course he will defend his business practices as being sound clinical business practices but I wouldn't expect to hear or see this kind of rhetoric from someone who has spent over 30 years in sales and marketing within the laboratory industry, even if he/she thought it were true.
According to the In-Office Pathology website (see below), it claims that Mr. Ness has helped with such innovations as client electronic interfaces, image enhanced reporting and of course, in-sourcing of pathology services in physician office practices.
If an expert in sales and marketing within the pathology and laboratory industry mentions "Pathology is the absolute dumbest profession I have ever seen in my life", what does that say about our profession?
From In-Office Pathology:
Bernie Ness has distinguished himself over the past 30 years as one of the experts in sales and marketing within the laboratory industry. His experience encompasses both large national lab companies as well as private, venture capital funded, startup companies. He is a recognized expert in the field of anatomic pathology sales and marketing.
He is well known for his expertise in revamping troubled sales organizations, adding innovation, marketing new technology and organizing and training sales forces. Bernie established one of the first computer-to-computer links for client order entry and lab results reporting. He launched several technologies that have become standards in oncology, infectious disease, pathology, and genetics, including color digital image anatomic pathology reporting. Bernie is often quoted in lab industry publications such as The Dark Report, Small Business Reports and Advance.
He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a degree in biology and a minor in microbiology. He was a board member of BioDiagnostics Laboratory, Inc.,Torrance (CA), a member of Biomedical Marketing Association and The Medical Marketing Association. Bernie formed BJ Ness Consulting Group that specialized in pathology business management. He also started several medical ventures, including a revolutionary new logistics product to keep medical specimens frozen for four days without dry ice. He is co-founder of the predecessor company of recently renamed In-Office Pathology, the market leader for in-sourcing pathology referrals from specialty medical practices in urology, gastroenterolgy, and dermatology.