From Your President – Spring 2019 AZ Pulse

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This issue of the Pulse is dedicated to Innovations in Medicine. It follows our Spring conference from March 16 with the same theme. The theme of medical innovations and new technologies like Machine learning is on the agenda this year because Medicine is changing and evolving very fast with the digital and data revolution. But who is driving the change and implementation of these new technologies? Doctors should be integral to implementing these technologies. This is to ensure technology is used and implemented to foster better medical care, assist in the constant demands of Physician efficiency and improve health. It could be tempting to use innovations for only increased profit; profits are good but us physicians are the human link. Physicians are made better by our nonphysician healthcare professionals, but the physician’s voice has always been the professional looked upon to be good stewards of medicine and our patients. That is why it is important for ArMA members to stay in engaged and apprised of medical technologies like Machine intelligence and the future of Blockchain technology.

The following is my Presidents Message for April and is important to make special note of our members contributions that benefit all physicians….

The 54th Legislative Session has proven to be quite the test for the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA).

We are still working diligently until the legislature adjourns sine die. ArMA lobbyists and staff are best in class but the testimony of member physicians adds credibility and expertise to the advocacy work. Many member physicians generously took time out of their busy schedules to testify in person on the healthcare bills including warning the legislature about the impact of anti-vaccination and the fallout of adding many more prescribers of other levels of education. **

I personally thank the following individuals for testifying before the House Health and Human Services Committee regarding a list of bills for which ArMA victoriously opposed:

  • Dr. Hamed Abbaszadegan
  • Dr. Miriam Anand
  • Dr. Negin Blattman
  • Dr. Mandy Boltz
  • Dr. Steven Brown
  • Dr. Akua Ekunwe
  • Dr. Stephen Herman
  • Dr. Fred Kogan
  • Dr. Cayman Martin
  • Dr. Mary Ellen Rimsza
  • Dr. Joseph Seelbaugh
  • Dr. Brigham Willis

The list could continue for pages of those who reached out showing support for our advocacy efforts and signing in to the RTS system in response to the ArMA STAT communications.

From that standpoint, I have experienced Arizona Physicians at their finest in my 10 months as President of your organization.  I have spoken to doctors and requested help from members that have experience in life, business, and medicine.  They have stepped forward in the interest of ArMA success.  All parts of the last 10 months have been a group effort.  The work done at ArMA can be a focal point that we physicians rally around and create a cohesive body of physicians that are strong.  It is tempting for all of us to put in our 9, 10, 14-hour days and leave this advocacy work up to someone else.  But these activities create a stronger ArMA and more importantly it creates a stronger you.  As a body of professionals, we are weakened by keeping our head down and our nose to the grindstone constantly.  We are trained very early to work hard, do what we are obligated to do and do it every day without a break when asked to.  Occasional advocacy volunteerism can water our spirit and provide a needed change of experience.  Similarly, respectful debate that focuses on processes, not people, mends the fences on issues for which we are divided.

** Consider testifying in future legislative sessions on healthcare bills.  Please contact our advocacy department to learn how to “Register to Speak at the legislature.  Also, when you register to speak, you can choose to support or oppose legislation even if you cannot attend in person.  Noting that in person is always the most impactful.

Traci Prtichard, MD, FACR

President, ArMA

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