Facts v. slander….and the winner is?

That’s the best you got?


I thought better of organized medicine in Florida, but clearly they are not beneath slander and maligning of an individuals character.  It is unfortunate that they have allowed the debate to be reduced to such a pubescent level, and telling because they have no factual argument that they can make!

(See the hatchet job at:http://www.saintpetersblog.com/why-is-rep-cary-pigman-being-such-a-jerk-to-florida-doctors. )

For those of you who are unaware the Florida House of Representatives have advanced a piece of legislation that would remove unnecessary and costly rules that limits the scope of practice for advanced practice nurses and removes the economic shackling of nurse practitioners to physicians.  This legislation would increase the number of professionals who are able to provide primary care services, particularly to underserved communities.  It would allow nurse practitioners to practice to the full scope of their education and training.

To support this effort there is evidence from 49 other states and hundreds of independent studies that demonstrate that nurse practitioners can safely and effectively provide these services.  Some studies have even demonstrated that nurse practitioners have similar, or better,  healthcare outcomes to their physician colleagues.  (Published in the JOURAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION!)

This legislation is strongly opposed by the Florida Medical Association and other physicians groups.  They are exceptionally vexed because the effort to advance the legislation is being headed up by Dr. Cary Pigman, a Florida emergency medical physician.  Dr. Pigman has consistently referred to data, evidence and facts to support his position.  He has consistently argued that the removal of the unnecessary regulations would improve access to care and save money!   He has steadfastly asserted that his rural constituents would benefit directly from the removal of these barriers.

And the facts support his position!

The assorted medical groups have tried to fight the legislation through anecdotal stories, push polling, fear mongering and outright lies!  (One physician testified he had more than 20,000 hours of clinical experience during his three year residency!  This would mean he worked 128 hours a week, 52 weeks  year?  At the same time he claimed nurse practitioners have only a few hundred hours of clinical experience.  I personally had over 2000 hours of clinical advanced practice experience after nearly 20 years experience as a registered nurse!)

And when these tactics have seemed to have failed they resort to maligning the character of Dr. Pigman.  They insinuate his motivations are uninformed, uneducated or self serving.   Through proxies like Peter Schorsch they further impugn Dr. Pigman’s character.

I have personally had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Dr. Pigman.  I can sincerely say he was intelligent, articulate and passionate about meeting the healthcare needs of Florida.  He consistently spoke of ensuring that all Floridians, particularly those in rural communities where he served, had access to primary care services.  He also demonstrated to me his remarkable grasp of data and statistics, particularly those associated with this issue.

The personal attacks against Dr. Pigman clearly goes beyond the pale and is the base at every level!

The question everyone should ask is why isn’t the associated medical groups fighting this legislation citing data and literature. Why the necessity to turn to such scurrilous tactics and personal attacks.  Why the need to utilize manipulative polling and proxies?

And the answer is quite simple…they don’t have the data to support their arguments.   The overwhelming evidence supports Dr. Pigman and the efforts of the Florida House!

So they are forced to utilizing such tactics in the hope to sway public opinion.

I regret Dr. Pigman has to suffer such abuse for standing behind his convictions and supporting advanced practice nurses.  I hope the citizens of Florida, particularly those in Dr. Pigman’s district, recognize the actions of organized medicine for what they are and applaud the conviction and bravery of Dr. Pigman!




  1. Good commentary Ed. You stated that right…it is what it is and not what unscrupulous people say.

  2. Great summary of the facts regarding this recent blog attack on Dr. Pigman. These ongoing attempts by those who wish to block much needed change to the present broken health care delivery system are troublesome because (as you stated) it misleads the general public about the real issues and present healthcare crisis. It is time that nurses join together and work for the needed changes in state law that will allow all nurses to function to the full extent of their education and clinical training. Nurses need to take the time to respond when we read the untruths or scare tactics being employed to divert attention from the need for change.
    Jan Hess

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