CHICAGO (CAP) - The medical community is reeling today following an announcement by the International Society of Ear Doctors that they are breaking ranks with nose and throat specialists and will be treating patients on their own.
"We've long played second fiddle to nose and throat, and it's time we got the recognition we deserve," said ISED President Dr. Karthik Mahesh. "We're tired of being lumped in with nose, who needs to take more responsibility for the issues they cause.
"There's no such thing as Post Auditory Drip," noted Mahesh. "I'm just sayin'."
The move has received the endorsement of both the Ear Wax Removers Union Local 106 and the Ear Hair Trimmers Association and now just needs a vote of confidence by the American Medical Association.
"We are confident this will never fly," said AMA President Jeremy Lazarus. "Seems like some doctors have an inflated sense of self-worth. They forget the ear bone's connected to the nose and throat, uhh ... bone."
Lazarus and other experts fear this break-up will fuel additional disharmony in the medical community, not too unlike the primary care shakeup of the late '80s that saw doctors specializing in treatment of only the right side or left side of the body, but not both.
"Sure, doctors were able to see twice as many patients because they only had to spend half the time with each one," said CAP News Health Editor Noley Thornton. "But the patients lost out because they had twice as many co-pays.
"Nothing like having to get a referral from your right-side doctor to have the left side of your body looked at," added Thornton. "Assuming your insurance covered both sides, of course."
For their part, nose and throat doctors say they will plow on without ear and continue to serve patients as best they can. Meanwhile, they have begun holding auditions for a new body part to replace ear, with call-backs requested for elbow, hamstring and spleen.
- CAP News Staff