Recently, the American Medical Association started a coordinated campaign to fight "scope creep", working to defend the practice of medicine against inappropriate scope-of-practice expansions by midlevel groups such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) that threaten patient safety and the right to physician-led care. Unsurprisingly, this initiative didn't sit well with the midlevel lobby, and its goons came out in full force on social media. As evidenced by the above Facebook post by physician assistant Mordechai (Mike) Sacks, some midlevels didn't hesitate to play dirty with behavior bordering on libel. Well, Mike is in good company, because the physicians here at Midlevel.WTF aren't afraid to play dirty either!
The more dedicated members of our audience might find his name familiar; indeed, this certainly isn't the first time we've covered Mr. Sacks, who previously became very butthurt over an unflattering Medscape article about the AAPA's initiative to rebrand physician assistants to "physician associates", authored by none other than Rebekah Bernard, MD, the president of Physicians for Patient Protection and the co-author of the hit book Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare.
We figure Mr. Sacks must be equally butthurt to try and compare the esteemed Dr. Bernard, who is guilty of nothing other than advocating for physician-led healthcare and attempting to educate the masses about the significant differences in knowledge, training, and education between physicians and midlevel physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to physician criminals such as serial child molester Larry Nassar, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, disgraced anti-vaccine activist Andrew Wakefield, and former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, or "Dr. Death". (Who the hell is Cecil B. Jackson?) And as polarizing of a figure as Dr. Oz is, he is admittedly an accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon and someone without a criminal record. In any case, with the exception of Dr. Bernard, none of the other physicians on Mr. Sacks' list of "superstars" have any real connection to midlevel politics or the fight against midlevel scope creep.
But really, the pièce de résistance of Mr. Sack's rant is to associate an outstanding family medicine physician, published author, and speaker such as Dr. Bernard with Josef Mengele. Yes, that Mengele - the card-carrying diehard Nazi physician turned Schutzstaffel (SS) officer and war criminal who became known as the "Angel of Death" for his cruel and macabre experiments at Auschwitz, including the "twin experiments" intended to prove the genetic superiority of the Aryan race. For those not familiar with the details of Mengele's "experiments" and to illustrate the Hitler-ish implications of Mr. Sacks' piss-poor attempt at drawing a comparison, we present the following excerpt from Wikipedia:
Twins were subjected to weekly examinations and measurements of their physical attributes by Mengele or one of his assistants. The experiments he performed on twins included unnecessary amputation of limbs, intentionally infecting one twin with typhus or some other disease, and transfusing the blood of one twin into the other. Many of the victims died while undergoing these procedures, and those who survived the experiments were sometimes killed and their bodies dissected once Mengele had no further use for them. Nyiszli recalled one occasion on which Mengele personally killed fourteen twins in one night by injecting their hearts with chloroform. If one twin died from disease, he would kill the other twin to allow comparative post-mortem reports to be produced for research purposes.
Without question, Mr. Sacks' attempt to place Dr. Bernard in the same category as one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals who committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, simply because she believes in physician-lead care and appropriate physician supervision of midlevel providers, is unconditionally abhorrent and revolting, if not straight-up libelous.
While we at Midlevel.WTF typically avoid low-hanging fruit like race or ethnicity, in the case of Mr. Sacks, whose given name is Mordechai Aryeh Sacks, it deserves a mention due to the sheer irony of it. One would think that a healthcare professional whose first name comes from a biblical Hebrew figure and whose middle name is derived from the transliteration of the Hebrew name for lion would be a bit more...reserved when it comes to recklessly comparing a respectable physician and decent human being to a fuckin' Nazi, but clearly, you can't assume anything about the level of intelligence or basic human decency that midlevels possess these days.
Filing a complaint
Thankfully, it's the year 2022 and not 1944, and if you're as enraged as we are after reading this post, you don't have to sit there completely helpless like a prisoner at a Nazi death camp. The New York State Department of Health's Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) has instructions and a PDF form for filing a complaint against midlevel physician assistants, which can be found here.