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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bush Appointee Not Even A Certified Doctor

posted by on November 22 at 12:40 PM

Anti-science, anti-contraception, anti-woman nutbag Eric Keroack, Bush’s pick to oversee $283 million in reproductive-health funding for low-income women, is not even certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist, according to the Washington Post, which reports (at the end of a dost-protest-too-much story titled “HHS Nominee Has Prescribed Birth Control”—as if that makes up for having a moral opposition to birth control based on the false premise that it is “demeaning” to women) that Keroack let his certification expire in 2005. While certification “is not a requirement for the job,” the Post notes, “HHS officials had cited Keroack’s expertise in defending his selection.”

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Posted by Will in Seattle | November 22, 2006 12:49 PM

Why would any Bush appointee need actual real-world qualifications? The only qualification that matters is the heavenly one, appeasing the Christianist base, the one that just cost the Rs the House and Senate--so let Bush stay this course, as it will only help the Ds in '08. In the meantime, women as usual get screwed, but that's been the BushCo approach for the last six years anyway.

Posted by bill | November 22, 2006 12:51 PM

I would suspect that "lapse" statement is ROVE spin... no doctor works that long and that hard to simply piss those 12 -15 years of schooling down their leg. Not unless there are other reasons. Moral stands happen all the time, but doctors simply change specialties, go into research, hospital admin, or whatever. They do not leave medicine entirely to take a desk job. Even an executive level desk job.

I would suspect that he took a moral stand (to many folks, a gynecologist = abortion doctor, so it not that hard to see why a fundi would not want to hold that license), did not renew his license (the whys and whats would be interesting to know, I think), then stood so morally tall the President of the USofA noticed and gave him this very job. Because of his moral stand and also for the reason that his medical schooling are credentials the civil employees at the HSS agency could not object to publicly and risk censure from the BIG BOSS.

Hey, not like Bush needs another Mike Brown crony around the joint, huh? But that dickhead GW BUSH he still has to appeal to the 30% of America who still like him, so he still has to be the president those folks expect and has to put cronies into key positions. Especially key social policy positions.

Posted by Phenics | November 22, 2006 1:02 PM

Please let this story continue to gain traction. I mean, I don't really believe that the head of this agency makes any difference to anything at all, but it would be nice for Bush's continued program of hiring laughably incompetent shitheads for every post to gain more exposure. And get Keroack humiliated and fired.

Posted by Fnarf | November 22, 2006 1:06 PM

An ob/gyn's responsibility is women's health. Women's health means honest information about sex, stds, contraception, and comprehensive pre-natal care. Every pregnant woman has a right to expect that her doctor will tell her if her fetus is brain-dead or has its organs hanging outside of its body.

I'm sure Keroack was unwilling to perform any responsibility of that job honestly.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 22, 2006 1:36 PM

Look, I understand you are having fun using this guy as an ideological punching bag (based on your series or entries to date), but you should understand a little bit about doctor nomenclature.

This guy is an MD; that means he's a doctor, period. Doctors can then take series of tests in their speciality to become 'board certified' which is an extra level of accreditation and carries weight with HR boards and hiring committees and anyone else who looks at his CV.

He passed his board certification in OB/GYN in 1995, and it lapsed in 2005. He is listed as 'board eligible' and states his intention to renew his status. There was no suspicious revocation or any indication that anything untoward happened, he just failed to renew his certificate.

Out of all of the doctors with whom I've worked, it is not uncommon for these accreditation issues to slip through the cracks of busy daily routines. Lapsed accreditation does not mean 'leaving medicine' or anything like that.

I'm not convinced by anything yet that would seem to indicate he is incapable of taking this position, despite the fact that many posters would doubtless prefer someone in their own ideological flavor. Maybe he will be terrible, maybe not; it remains to be seen. The posting title is misleading is the sense that it conveys the impression that the appointee is not even a doctor at all, which is clearly false.

Posted by chunkstyle | November 22, 2006 2:04 PM

Chunkstyle -

I'm sure he'll do a heckuva job.

Posted by david | November 22, 2006 2:25 PM

Yeah, maybe he can go live in New Orleans in the 8th Ward.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 22, 2006 2:58 PM

OK, Chunkstyle, maybe he's every bit as great a doctor as Bill Frist even, but he's still a raving loon who habitually retails gross untruths about reproductive health--abortion causes breast cancer, promiscuous health damages the brain through suppression of oxytocins, yadda yadda. The man is not fit to come within a thousand yards of a woman's body, board certification or no.

Posted by Fnarf | November 22, 2006 3:02 PM


I think there may be some overstatement going on in those claims. Science is a lot more complicated than pro- and con- PR pieces.

For example, complications from abortion procedures have been shown to have an impact on a womans reproductive system. Breast physiology is associated with aspects of said reproductive system, and some study showed a correlation between abortions and certain types of cancer. It's not about certitude, it's about some chance as evidenced by the data.

Now, that is not quite as hyperbolic as the original claim, but it is much more realistic as to what science says and can show.

Oxytocins are another example in the sense that they are the neurotransmitters that have been implicated with many bonding biological processes. No one is suggesting that the 'oxytocin is just used up'; rather, it's that the behavioral manifestation of neurotransmitter-induced mechanisms can leave behavioral patterns which can, in some number of measured instances, interfere with future repetitions of the same type of behavior.

In both of those positions, there is a lot more actual philosophical ground than what the caricature of the position suggests. For that reason, I think until I hear actual crazy talk as supported by evidence, I'm inclined to wait and see.

Posted by chunkstyle | November 22, 2006 5:11 PM

Nice try, Chunkstyle, but you are wrong, and wrong in a deliberate way that makes me question your motives.

There is no "philosophical ground" or "some study" on the link between abortion and breast cancer: it simply does not exist. Allow me to quote the National Cancer Institute: "Induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk." There are NO STUDIES ANYWHERE that suggest otherwise. ALL of the suggestions otherwise come from, wait for it, the anti-abortion movement, in purely polemic unscientific, indeed anti-scientific, pieces.

No one is confused on this point except radical garbagebags like Dr. Kerouack. Dr. Keroack continues to promote this lie, which he knows is a lie, almost a decade after it was first authoritatively shot down. That he continues to repeat it suggests something far more chilling than an opposing viewpoint (for on this subject there is no opposing viewpoint); it suggests that he is so intellectually beholden to his kook religious beliefs that he will happily betray the science that supports his chosen field, and in the process betray the oath he took when he became a doctor. He is morally unfit.

The "research" on oxytocin and sex consists of a study on prairie voles. The evidence on oxytocin is not only far from conclusive, it doesn't even point in a consistent direction. More studies support the OPPOSITE of Keroack's conclusions than support him, and none of it adds up to jack. Again to quote, this time a doctor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Keroack's theory is "not borne out by the current evidence". So: both of your philosophical quandaries turn out to be fake-o; there's nothing there. Who sent you, Chunkstyle?

There's another problem with Keroack's theory: it's retarded. If you actually examine his work, it's nuts. Terrible crayoned cartoons of nerve cells being interrupted by stop signs and train signals. It's worthy of junior high biology class, not a medical doctor, a certified OB/GYN, and a national educator on reproductive health. Keroack is, simply, a boob. If the Bush administration respected science, the guy wouldn't even get an interview for the position of handing out condoms on the street. He's NOT QUALIFIED.

He's in fact part of a long line of Bush appointees who treat science with contempt. They are among other things threatening to destroy the US public health system. The legacy of damage committed by this President in this regard is as bad as in any other area. And it doesn't stop with Bush; the church people are attempting a permanent takeover. Bye-bye, National Institutes of Health; the Jesus People don't want your kind around anymore. Appointing morons like Keroack to positions of authority is not an end unto itself; I'm quite sure that the top people in the Bush administration know perfectly well that Keroack's elevator doesn't go to the top floor. But they don't CARE; they WANT government agencies to be led by idiots, because they want government agencies to go away. Why do you think Brownie got appointed at FEMA? Because Bush thinks disaster prevention and recovery is bullshit. Why are kooks and fourth-raters in charge of public health? Because Right-wing Christians don't believe in public health.

Posted by Fnarf | November 22, 2006 6:24 PM


Posted by jonny566 | December 5, 2006 9:47 AM

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