The Future of Medicine

I don’t normally stray from the trail of #allergy topics, but this issue is so important for doctors and ultimately patients that it’s worth investigating. If the doctor shortage becomes severe based on a dwindling supply of physicians, and increased utilization with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), where will you get care when you need it? As #Tulsa County Medical Society (TCMS) president, I am privileged to write about our initiatives in the community and this one is of great importance not only now but for future generations. Here’s the President’s letter from the most recent newsletter:

President’s Letter

I had just finished my training in allergy and was ready to conquer the world. Setting up a practice was no big deal; I just didn’t know what I didn’t know! Small town hospital to the rescue. If my practice didn’t succeed or if my revenue didn’t cover my expenses, I would have the local hospital guarantee my salary for the first 3 years of practice. How comforting and reassuring is that? What I didn’t know is if I was more successful than I anticipated (which most of us are), I had to share the profits with a hospital that literally did nothing to earn the cut. Rookie mistake, but very costly and could have been avoided with a few well-placed stories from my mentor….oh yeah, I didn’t have one either.

So here at TCMS, we tell you we’re more than just a political organization looking out for the practice of medicine. We are involved in watching out for your backside, to be sure, but the summer months allow an opportunity to reach out to our #medical students and residents to let them know about life after residency. You mean there is life after residency? In the grand scheme of life, most of the time you spend practicing medicine will be outside of your time as a resident or medical student.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed for those med school lectures!
Bright eyed and bushy tailed for those med school lectures!

Think about your importance as a physician mentor knowing that #doctors of the next generation will be ill prepared for what lies ahead in their practice careers. Now before you jump up and down in protest at having to attend one of the resident/medical student events, consider the following:

1. Residents and medical students from both OU and OSU have been willing to engage the medical community to find out how to make Tulsa County Medical Society more relevant and user friendly. They have designed their own survey and we found from the survey that >80% wanted a mentor to help them through this time of training. Some wanted a single mentor, others wanted small groups to mentor them, but the bottom line is they wanted MENTORS. That my friend is an open invitation to encourage, instruct and even prod the next generation. From my experience with the enthusiasm of a medical student, we as experienced (a nice way to say older) doctors may be the ones needing the cattle prod.

2. We have two board members (Drs. Aran and Weisz) that can introduce the initiative of mentorship on residents/medical students home turf. Several of our scheduled events are being held at either OU or OSU campuses with a guarantee of good attendance. How do I know that? We’re feeding them!

3. The important “didactic” topics of interest from the above mentioned survey will be covered in October (restructuring loans & financial planning) and speak directly to the need at hand.

Sponsor Lunch at OU Student Orientation (August 20)

Sponsor Lunch at OSU Student Orientation (date to be determined), we’ll conduct both of these events at the schools. No extra time out to detract from studying.

I really encourage you to attend this event at the Zoo: Student-Resident (and family) lunch at the Zoo with complimentary Zoo passes (August 29), the Zoo is really improving the exhibits and according to Tulsa World, we’re setting record attendance on holiday weekends. We’ll meet in an air-conditioned building (A/C works this year) to give an orientation on what’s available through TCMS for medical students and residents during their time with us in Tulsa. Then of course, we’ll turn you lose to run wild for the afternoon. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun)

Program on Restructuring Loans and Financial Planning in October – we’d like to hold this event in a more upscale facility here in Tulsa. We might all learn something from this topic on financial planning. Stay tuned for the time and location as you may want to bring your spouse to this one!

Program on Advocacy and the Political Process in February 2016 – selected members of OU/OSU class will travel to Washington DC for a look at the politics of medicine in the spring of 2016. Everyone wants to go on this trip for the amenities and of course learn something in the process. Jim, Pat, and Wes (our lobbyists for OSMA) are always entertaining, but very knowledgeable about what to look for, and how to make an impact in the political process. Perfect timing right before the Washington trip.

So look, you’ve got medical students and residents that if they stay in Oklahoma, will be your potential partner and they want your help and friendship during their training.

What a better way to give them what they want and could make good use of? See ya then!



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