The changes taking place in medicine in this decade are faster and more sweeping than any that have occurred in the over 100 year history of our medical society. The Affordable Care Act mandates new programs, regulations and models of care. The regulatory pace is so fast, that keeping up is nearly impossible for any individual physician.
Over the past decades medical care in this country has undergone remarkable advances. Lipid lowering drugs, coronary stents, bypass surgery, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors have reduced mortality and increased quality and length of life for hundreds of thousands of cardiac patients. Medications for peptic ulcers have essentially replaced vagotomy and over-sewing of ulcers, common only 2 decades ago. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis has saved countless lives. Modern antidepressants are improving the lives of those with depression. Laparoscopic surgery, stroke intervention, and other minimally invasive procedures have reduced recovery time and disability. Our biggest challenge in the next decade is to continue provide the level and quality of service our patients expect while outside forces pressure appropriate payment for those services.
The life and lifestyle of a physician is difficult. Balancing the needs of patients with personal needs will always be challenging. Medicine is and will always be a noble profession. It is a profession which I have been both proud and humbled to serve for over 25 years.
In these challenging times, organized medicine is more important than ever. Physicians understand the needs of patients and the profession better than any government agency. Our extensive training and understanding of the complexities of medical care give us a unique perspective on the care our patients want and need. This perspective is clearer than that of those who regulate us and those who govern payment.
Your local medical society is now more important than ever. All change begins locally. Join, participate and help influence the way we can and should care for patients. There is no better way to influence care than to participate in organized medicine. If you are not a member, please join. If you are, thank you for your support and I invite your participation. Together we can influence the way medicine is being transformed.