Westby G. Fisher, MD

Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC is a board certified internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist (doctor specializing in heart rhythm disorders) practicing at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL, USA and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He entered the blog-o-sphere in November, 2005. He writes regularly at Dr. Wes. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly the those of the author(s) and should not be construed as the opinion(s) or policy(ies) of NorthShore University HealthSystem, nor recommendations for your care or anyone else's. Please seek professional guidance instead.

Posts by Westby G. Fisher, MD

Is the Doc Fix fine print so bad even a doctor would vote against it?

It was like magic, a vote was held in the House of Representatives on the Medicare “Doc Fix” and moments later, my inbox was filled with press releases from the American College of Cardiology and the AMA. A few seconds later, a somewhat more tempered press release from AARP arrived, urging more revisions to the […]

Questioning Meerkat in healthcare (and all other live streaming services)

I woke this morning in a cold sweat as I found myself wrestling with a thought. Am I Big Brother? The explosion of social media in our society, and at medical meetings in particular, is changing how our society, and medical professionals in particular, work and interact.  There is potential for tremendous good: social media […]

Something’s been lost in the Maintenance of Certification battle that may never be won back

After a brief foray into the uncomfortable position of being publicly humiliated, the American Board of Internal Medicine is now telling is they have begun a “transformation” of their Maintenance of Certification program.  They said they got “it” wrong. But instead of understanding “it,” they want practicing physician to forget “it” and, instead, refocus our efforts to […]


Maintenance of Certification: Do we really need it at all?

Last week was a remarkable one for practicing US physicians.  It was when two articles appeared side by side in the New England Journal of Medicine: one promoting the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Maintenance of Certification® (MOC) program, and another that thoroughly debunked it.  The comments placed to the stories told a story of […]


Heart doc calls for a time-out for ABIM MOC Mandate

From theheart.org (registration required), John Mandrola, MD calls for a “time-out” for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) mandate:The matter for debate is whether the ABIM method – and to be frank, it’s arm-twisting tactics – is the best means to achieve physician quality. Doctors are taught to be skeptical […]


The business of testing physicians

If you want to understand the world of professional board certification, it is important to understand the business and politics of testing professionals. Such testing is big business. So big in fact, that huge international media and education companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange have been created to service this need. According […]


Doctors as drug reps: ‘God help us’

There’s a new gig for doctors – as drug rep: “Because they will be employees of Glaxo, the company won’t have to report payments to doctors under the so-called Sunshine Act in the U.S. that requires such disclosures. On the other hand, their credibility may be questioned, and they won’t be able to answer questions […]


How much do doctors really earn? (Infographic)

I found this infographic (see below) interesting for several reasons. The information puts the high US physician salary touted by the mainstream media and political policy makers in perspective with other countries when time spent providing care is considered. However, the data presented in this infographic also address the important issue of training debt that […]

Devices & Diagnostics

St. Jude issues ‘Dear Colleague’ letter regarding older pacemakers during surgery

On 29 January 2014, St. Jude Medical issued a “Dear Colleague” letter regarding their review of incident reports on older-model pacemakers (Affinity, Entity, Integrity, Identity, Sustain, Frontier, Victory and Zephyr models) that occasionally dropped their output voltage during surgical electrocautery. (Here’s a publication describing two such cases.) Several issues regarding this advisory letter are troubling. […]