LMS President’s Message, January 2018
Tuyen T. Tran, MD, MBA
I would like to begin with, “Thank you!” It is with great honor that I accept the baton from Dr. Granacher as I take my turn in leading the Lexington Medical Society on its next leg of our race of life. And this race of life is a very long marathon indeed, since 1799! But it is for a very good cause! We want members of the Lexington Medical Society to ignite, sustain, and rekindle their passion for the practice of medicine. We want to be the principal voice and resource for our fellow physicians. We want to support our physicians’ professional lives. We want to facilitate our physicians’ efforts to improve the health of our community. And when I say, “We,” I mean each and everyone in the Lexington Medical Society. (Register of LMS Dinner Meeting, “Presidential Transition,” Jan. 16, 2018)
Fortunately, my predecessors have initiated much of the required infrastructure. We have changed the organizational structure to enhance efficiency. We have refined an Executive Committee which is comprised of committed members who actively participate and deliberate crucial decisions. These decisions are then passed onto the Executive Board for approval. This leaner model has better served our needs.
We have sharpened our vision and mission statements to more precisely define our purpose at Lexington Medical Society. We want LMS to be the spark that revitalizes your passion for the practice of medicine. Each of you may have personal reasons to pursue medicine; but, I know that you have all experienced the desire to give back, and to improve the health of your communities. And if we, the Lexington Medical Society, can aid you in your professional lives, you can better achieve your goals. We have defined goals and objectives to accomplish our vision and mission; but, more importantly, we have established the values (loyalty, caring, trust, camaraderie, foresight, innovation, candor, and life/work balance) with which we will achieve the desired outcomes. (Dr. Granacher wrote a tremendous review of many of our projects in the December newsletter and I encourage all of you to read it.)
Where do we want to go in 2018? Where do we want to focus? I believe we should focus on priority goals and do them well. Our Society has a wide demographic, from our medical students in their early twenties to our retired physicians. We will design events that appeal to our membership as a whole, but will also have events that serve a specific demographic niche. Using a baseball analogy, a home run or grand slam is an event with broad appeal across the demographics. A double is an event focused on a specific demographic. With this programing strategy in mind, what do we want to achieve in 2018?
I propose that we organize our goals into four categories: 1) Physician Wellness, 2) Physician Leadership Development and Mentorship, 3) Legislative Advocacy, and 4) Improving Community Health.
The most important service LMS can provide to our physician members is physician wellness. If you are not healthy, both body and mind, you cannot help others. The Physician Wellness Program has been a great success, a “grand slam.” The program exemplifies LMS’ commitment to our physicians, resident physicians, and medical students. This is an example of a project that we should sustain and continue to innovate. In 2017, five active LMS physicians, one UK resident, and four UK medical students participated in the LMS Bourbon Chase Team to raise over $6,000 for the American Cancer Society. This is a project that we should also support and promote. A new initiative, we want to invite members to bring their significant others to participate in a couple’s Team Building event at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles on April 21st for residents and fellows and on April 28th for active members. I believe we can all appreciate the importance of a happy spouse.
With a healthy body and mind, we want to assist our physicians with leadership development. In 2017, LMS supported three LMS candidates and KMA supported two additional LMS candidates to attend the KMA Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute (KPLI). In four condensed weekends, Butler University faculty taught personal leadership, business leadership, and leadership in action to influence health care policy. KMA provided faculty for leadership in advocacy. I attended the course and can attest that the course was invaluable. (My colleagues who attended the course have also expressed tremendous praise of the course.) Without hesitation, I would strongly recommend that we sustain this program. In 2018, the LMS Board has budgeted three LMS members to attend the KPLI. (Contact LMS if you are interested in attending the 2018 KPLI program)
In addition to the KPLI, LMS has partnered with the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics to offer “Leadership of the Business of Medicine Workshops.” Currently, there are two workshops per year and each session is limited to 25 people. Attendance has been great and members were inspired to initiate a spin-off project, LMS Private Practice Business Forum. I would like to support and nurture this project, as well. (Contact LMS if you are interested in the Private Practice Business Forum.)
New for 2018, LMS is starting a “Woman Physician Leadership Series.” Our first event, on March 13 in honor of Women’s History Month, is a dinner at the 21C Museum Hotel with Dr. Ardis Hoven, LMS Member and past President of the American Medical Association, as the guest speaker. This inaugural event is spearheaded by Mamata Majmundar, M.D., our LMS Vice President, who wants to use it as an opportunity to engage more female colleagues to be involved in leadership positions in organized medicine and throughout the community.
For our resident physicians and medical students, we should continue to support their career development. Career Chats has become another “grand slam” for us. Both physicians and medical students have expressed benefit from the encounters. A new program, initiated in 2017, is the Mentorship Program. Although results are pending, the participation of 46 third-year medical students and their mentors is an example of a double, focused on our younger demographic.
In regards to legislative advocacy, I encourage our members to commit to increasing their involvement. Remember, part of our mission statement is for LMS to be “…the principal voice” for Central Kentucky physicians. Thus, I strongly recommend that we sustain, continue to innovate, and promote our advocacy programs (KMA Physicians’ Day at the Capitol, AMA National Advocacy Conference, KMA Annual Meeting). In 2018, I would like to develop and implement a LMS Legislative Task Force (contact LMS if you are interested in joining the Legislative Task Force). Some objectives include, but are not limited to, assigning physicians to talk to key legislators to favorably influence healthcare related issues, drafting resolutions which impact our practice and licensure, and partnering with our KMA colleagues to mitigate the regulatory burdens to our practice of medicine. I agree with Dr. Maurice Oakley, our new KMA President, when he commented that these governmental regulations and/or insurer demands do not result in better medical care for our patients. AMA President, Dr. Andy Gurman, stated, “It is our duty to shed light on the challenges physicians face and to seek changes to protect the profession.”
Finally, I would like to discuss something that is very dear to me, improving community health. I was called to medicine to serve and contribute to the health of my community. I have been blessed and I want to share with the community that has offered me these opportunities. Therefore, I strongly recommend sustaining fund raising programs like the annual golf event, the LMS Foundation support of medical non-profits, and the Bourbon Chase.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the opioid epidemic, a public health crisis that according to the CDC has led to roughly 90 deaths per day. The opioid epidemic is currently the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. Taking this closer to home, in 2015, CDC reported that Kentucky was one of five states with the highest rates of death related to drug overdose, killing 29.9 per 100,000 people (1,196 Kentuckians died in 2015). To make it more personal, opioid addiction breaches all gender, racial, and socioeconomic barriers. We have all probably known someone who has battled addiction. While I certainly do not have the solutions; I bet that together, we, the Lexington Medical Society can contribute our expertise, wisdom, and resources to help combat this terrible epidemic which is devastating our communities. (Contact LMS if you are interested in joining our Opioid Strategy Task Force)
In closing, I would like to thank every one of you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your next president. I hope to continue LMS’ course to provide leadership in healthcare issues, support our physician members, provide value to attract more members, and most importantly, ignite the fire and passion within each of us to practice medicine.