Volume 31 • Number 7 • July 2010
In this issue
Deadline looms for pediatricians
with expiring certificates
Pediatricians with certificates expiring in 2010 will
need to work fast to fulfill requirements for certification and submit supporting materials by Dec. 1.
Once these steps are completed, pediatricians must
“re-enroll” in Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
online to be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).
The first step is to log on to the ABP Web site at
www.abp.org and create a personal portfolio — My
ABP Portfolio — to view requirements and timelines,
and update contact information.
2010 Voters’ Guide
Information on candidates for office. Pages 20-24
Bylaw referenda on extending affiliate membership to physician
assistants and limiting the number of candidates. Page 32
See MOC, page 13
Pediatricians and the Law
Afraid of being deported,
some Arizona parents
withhold, defer care
for U.S.-citizen children
Are you protected from liability
when volunteering at home, abroad?
by Jessica Pupillo • Correspondent
by David Marcus, M.D., FAAP
Each year, hundreds of
pediatricians volunteer their
skills and services in a variety
of settings both at home and
abroad. Why do pediatricians
travel for hours to faraway
places to help people they do
not know and most likely will
never see again? They do it
because it is the right thing to
do and it fulfills a need in
them that cannot be satisfied
in any other way.
The earthquakes in Haiti
and Chile and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans led to an
outpouring of U.S. medical
volunteers willing to put up
with less-than-desirable conditions and less-than-adequate
resources to alleviate the suffering of others. For some,
however, the threat of being sued for care provided
as a volunteer is a barrier to volunteerism.
Recognizing this, Congress enacted the Volunteer
Pediatricians volunteering abroad receive little protection from liability but
reap intangible rewards, according to David Marcus, M.D., FAAP, pictured here
during a volunteer trip to Vietnam. In the states, liability laws protect health
care volunteers working under nonprofit or government entities.
Protection Act of 1997 (VPA) to shield volunteers
from certain forms of liability. To qualify under the
VPA, the volunteer must be donating services, without
See Law, page 10
A child in rural Arizona with type 1 diabetes
is not able to see a pediatric endocrinologist
because his undocumented parents are afraid to
travel through the immigration checkpoint that
stands between their home and the specialty
referral center two hours away.
“We are currently managing his condition over
the telephone with their specialist,” said the
child’s pediatrician, who asked not to be iden-
tified to protect his patients whose parents risk
deportation. “This is not optimal care.”
While the child is a U.S. citizen and legally
entitled to health care through Medicaid, his
parents are not citizens. “They’re afraid of being
deported, and if they are, they’re concerned that
the quality of care for their son would be lower
in Mexico,” the pediatrician said.
Since passage of a new stringent immigration
law in Arizona this spring, undocumented parents of children who are U.S. citizens are increasingly fearful of deportation. As a result, they are
deferring care or receiving treatment in local
emergency departments (EDs) instead of from
pediatric specialists, he said.
Others also fear seeking care at EDs.
The new law, which goes into effect July 29,
makes failure to carry immigration documents
a crime. Also, it allows police to make lawful
stops to ask about a person’s legal status if they
have reasonable suspicion the person is here
See Arizona, page 8