In his recent movie, “Sicko,” the controversial director Michael Moore turned his attention to healthcare, specifically the difficulties in access to care faced by many Americans. I have reservations about Michael Moore’s tendency to overshoot his target and suspect that some parts of his documentaries are too contrived to be taken at face value. Nevertheless, this time he has definitely picked a topic of interest to ACR members, and indeed all healthcare professionals. The striking number of physicians in the theater when I saw “Sicko” supports that conclusion.
As ACR president, I am made aware of the concerns of ACR members through the numerous e-mails that stream in to our staff, the ACR list serve, and me personally, in addition to phone calls, letters, and encounters with colleagues in professional settings. On many topics—such as our educational meetings, our journals, and the Research and Education Foundation—the messages from ACR members are overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic.
However, there is also palpable concern—and occasionally outright anger—about many aspects of the environment in which we care for our patients. Arguably, one could link many of our greatest challenges under the theme of “access to care,” and if I were a film director in the genre of Michael Moore, I would already have enough material to create my own documentary: “Sicko Rheum.”