Continuity of Care

TourtheTower

On June 1, 2014 at Louisville’s historic and newly renovated Water Tower, the Greater Louisville Medical Society held its annual Presidents’ Celebration.

crowd at watertower

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.

pat and bruce screen

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…

pat podium

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.

murphy speech at pres celeb

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.

Survive?

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.

And more…

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.

United.

gavel trophy

Leadership Louisville Comes to The Old Medical School

old school now

On January 7, 2014 the current Leadership Louisville class met at the Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation’s “Old Medical School Building.” Here is a portion my welcome…

white coat

There is a lot of history in this room.

old_military at med school

The building was opened as a medical school in 1893 and has withstood The Great Depression, floods, two world wars, and the wrecking ball. It stands as a testament to the passion, resiliency and dedication of the medical profession. Today Leadership Louisville adds to that legacy.

Your director, Aaron Miller, asked me if I was “glad to be standing on this side of the podium” since I was a member of last year’s Leadership Louisville class.

“Sure,” I said. But I also enjoyed my time sitting in front of the podium in 2013. My days with Leadership Louisville were great. It was fantastic hanging out with dynamic people, focusing on topics relevant to the success of our city, making new friends outside of my medical cocoon, and taking a break from my cell phone to engage personally with diversely talented people.

So, why here? Why today?

In the last decade Louisville has shifted from an industrial to a service economy; with an emphasis on health care delivery. In fact, six of Louisville’s ten largest employers are in health care.

The Greater Louisville Medical Society is out in front of this transformation.

Our success is tied to our mission: “…to promote the art and science of medicine; to protect the patient-physician relationship; and to ensure the health of our community.” This journey is comprised of advocacy, education, creativity, mission work, public health, and philanthropy.  Our vehicle is our organization. Our structure is built by bonds of trust.  And our engine is fueled by our passion.

There are many illustrations of our commitment to this mission. These include the cutting-edgePulse of Surgery” program for students at the Louisville Science Center; the world-renowned Healing Place Addiction Recovery program; Supplies Over Seas, sending life-saving medical supplies and equipment to impoverished countries; and the OPIOID safe prescribing initiative, combatting prescription drug abuse. These and other efforts were born of GLMS member collaborations.

There is one program in particular of which you should take note – our “Wear the White Coat” internship program. Every year we team community leaders with physicians from various specialties and allow them to spend a day walking in the shoes of a physician. Later the group reconvenes in the very room you are in now to share. We physicians learn as much from our “interns” as they learn from us. At the end, everyone feels connected, hopeful and inspired.  Each of you will be invited this year.

old school postcard

So, there is a lot of history in this room. But there is a lot of future too.

Thanks for being here and being a part of that future.

 me and business with the residents

James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM is President of the Greater Louisville Medical Society, Medical Director of Murphy Pain Center, and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is an alumnus of the Leadership Louisville Class of 2013. On his application to Leadership Louisville, he answered the question: “What is the best kept secret about Louisville?” with The Greater Louisville Medical Society. If you are reading this, hopefully it is not a secret any longer.