A Brief history of the Origin and Evolution of the Minnesota Physician-Patient Alliance (MPPA)
The Minnesota (MN) Physician-Patient Alliance (MPPA) history is the product of many contributors. Lee Beecher’s inspiration to recount our history recognized that we had a legacy for future MPPA leaders that needed documentation. In April 2020 he asked me to write this history.
The first task was to find Dr. R. Douglas (Doug) Thorsen, the founder. He was delighted to find out what had happened in the 20 years, since he had had to retire from the political fray. He volunteered to help and quickly edited the first version draft of MPPA’s early years.
The first rough draft was also sent out to many including Board members and to those, who had made significant contributions to MPPA’s evolution from being a quasi-policy directed group to a discussion group involving community leaders. The response was immediate and enthusiastic, as will be evident in their contributions.
Half of MPPA’s 88 members (as of April 2020) have always been lay people coming from many different perspectives including lawyers, a publisher, book writers, medical consultants, hospital and clinic administrators, an accountant, a dentist, workers from medical political action groups and politicians.
Recounted here is MPPA’s evolution into an organization much like your local voluntary dues-free book club, where books are discussed, and all perspectives are routinely welcomed. Unlike a book club, we discuss political panaceas and pomposity from all perspectives, while members formulate ways to battle the mayhem; they write books, essays, create businesses, and engage in politics. MPPA does not possess nor enforce any orthodoxy.
The history is arranged chronologically; a few member and non-member actions are highlighted. The evolution produced a collegial group of physicians and lay people from every political viewpoint dedicated to patient empowerment; the spirit that motivates its existence.
This history represents part of a legacy upon which future leaders can build the organization and continue MPPA’s heretical battle against group think pomposity, social engineering panaceas, and political malpractice.
No MPPA member is ever a lone voice in the wilderness of government-backed crony cartel power that today dominates medicine. MPPA became something exquisite and different in its unusual evolution and simplicity.