By Tracey Haas, DO, MPH
Well, the election is over – and whether you’re red, blue or green, there’s a lot of work to do, and we physicians need to collaborate on the road ahead. This is true in the medical world now more than ever.
The upcoming interim meeting of the American Medical Association will certainly address some of these concerns – but whose voices are the delegates listening to?
There is no doubt that membership has been down over the past few years. It is unclear whether or not this is just a trend or due to a split in philosophies around health care reform and other hot issues. Regardless of the political climate and differing views, physicians must be at the table to be heard. Yes, many young physicians are joining large groups or choosing to be employed rather than own their practice, but this should not mean their choices default to those of their employers. Progressive change in medicine cannot come at the expense of passivity in our new doctors. More than ever our medical societies must step up to embrace this gradual shift in healthcare delivery models, while empowering the physician to speak up about the practice of medicine.
The future of medicine relies on participation. If physicians want to be heard, they must join and must speak. Medical societies have been around for over a century to bring the medical community together to do just that. With new membership from recent grads and the seasoned practitioners – medical societies must stay strong – and continue to help doctors stay focused on the issues and become inspired to speak up, stand up and get fired up! The change hasn’t happened – it is coming.
Let’s continue to be the voices of change for our profession, for our patients and for the reform we hope to see by participating at local, state and national levels.
Dr. Haas is a family physician in Austin and medical director of DocbookMd.