As outgoing president I had the honor of introducing Dr. Bruce Scott – my esteemed colleague and childhood friend – as our new President. I also thanked some of the many great folks who worked so hard to make this the most satisfying year of my professional life.
Before I handed over the President’s gavel to Bruce and assumed my new role as Chair of the GLMS Board of Governors, I had this to say…
A year ago, as your newly elected President, the last words I said on that stage were:
The Greater Louisville Medical Society is our organization, our tribe, our road to a place where medicine is both science and art, where our community enjoys wellness, and the sacred bond between our patients and us is secure. And my goal this year is to see us united.
It’s one year later, and our profession is under attack as never before. Physician burnout is an epidemic. This is why, more than ever, we must be united.
Back in the day, physicians were a more homogenous group. There were fewer specialists. We shared common values and common goals.
Now government, employers, specialties, patients, and family pull us in many directions. There is an ever-increasing burden for maintenance of board certifications and licensure. Each separate payer and practice facility requires its own credentialing. Medical liability risks keep mounting. The insatiable quest for quantifying quality with data points and benchmarks threatens to crush our creativity and mandate cookbook-style care. Rival non-physician tribes continuously grab pieces of what used to be our acknowledged scope of practice.
How do we respond? All too often by retreating to presumed “safe houses” provided by the one, two, three or more specialty societies each of us believes offers the most protection of our turf.
Got to survive, you know.
The irony is that these refuges are not safe at all. They are static. Stationary. It makes us benign targets for attack by all who would prefer a leaderless mechanized conveyor belt of universal one-size-fits-none healthcare. This sanctimonious deconstruction of our profession is done in homage and servitude to the inscrutable holy trinity of cost-effectiveness, quality, and value.
Why not thrive!
Regardless of where your professional journey has led, you and I and our colleagues remain connected at our roots. We still share common values and must share common goals. We are physicians by education, oath, and calling.
We love our profession.
We love humanity.
And we love each other.
That is why we get up every day, put on our white coats, and go out to save the world.
Because it must be saved.
And we know…
We are the ones who must do it.