Like Being the Pope for Doctors

AMA president speaks at Lexington Medical Society September Meeting

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LEXINGTON Speaking to the Lexington Medical Society (LMS) on September 8, 2015, AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, listed three initiatives as goals for his term in the position he described as being “like the Pope for doctors.” Well aware of the challenges and frustrations that doctors face every day, Stack said, “My opportunity is to paint a brighter future for physicians of today and the physicians of tomorrow.”

To do that, Stack pointed to physician satisfaction and sustainability in the workplace as his first priority. “To have a healthier nation, we need a healthy physician workforce,” he said. “Who in this room isn’t frustrated by EMR and with a staff similarly frustrated by it?” he asked. To address physician burn-out he cited an upcoming physician wellness program presented by the LMS that begins in January 2016 with free counseling sessions for all active members.

Stack also cited the 86 million Americans who are pre-diabetic, roughly one third of the total adult US population, and the enormous problem that brings to the healthcare industry. To help cope with this patient population, Stack encouraged physicians to refer patients to proven diabetes prevention programs, such as at the YMCA, that have a 72 percent success rate for individuals over 60 years old. The AMA has partnered with the YMCA to make these programs affordable and available to all, he said.

Revising medical education is the second of the AMA’s initiatives. “Medical education needs to modernize to adapt to the new complexities of practicing medicine,” said Stack, “including teaching finance and how to deal with hospital and healthcare systems administration and insurance companies.” As healthcare insurance companies consolidate, hospitals consolidate to form a “monopsony power that dictates what and how physicians are paid for their services,” said Stack.

Monopsony, Stack explained, is a market condition where one buyer sets the price for services. It is similar to monopoly power where one supplier sets the price.

Stack’s third initiative is to continue to make the AMA relevant to physicians and for them to have a positive opinion of what the AMA stands for. The 125,000+ air miles that he expects to travel this year testify to his commitment to meet and engage physicians on every level. “Leading like a general, from the top down, is old school and doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “I try to lead from within.”

Contact Dr. Steven Stack at: stevenstack@ama-assn.org.

Surgery on Sunday Founder Receives Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award

LOUISVILLE The 2015 Muhammad ali Kentucky Humanitarian award was presented to Dr. Andrew Moore, II, at the Muhammad ali Humanitarian Awards, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at the Marriott Hotel in Louisville.

Moore was the founder in 2005 of Surgery on Sunday, an all volunteer organization which provides, at no cost to the patient, essential outpatient surgical services to individuals who are underinsured or uninsured. Since its beginning, Surgery on Sunday has provided over 5,600 surgeries.