Having just wrapped up our 59th Annual Winter Clinics in McCall I am in post-mortem mode, evaluating what went right and what needs to be fixed. As I reflect on what made this year very successful – we blew through our capacity with 125 registered for on-site attendance – it seems the factors are really just a reflection of what ACMS stands for throughout the year: We Connect the Docs.
With the central them of Managing Obesity, we had a wide variety of perspectives represented that made for, shall we say, a "vigorous" conversation. Duke University's Dr. Eric Westman made a strong pitch for a no moderation high fat, low-carb diet while Dr. James Valentine shared about the safety of bariatric surgery. Drs. Jennifer Shalz and Amy Baruch pushed lifestyle as medicine, explored alternative medical therapies, and gave physicians more education on nutrition in one hour than most probably received in all of residency.
Local obesity medicine physician W. Allen Rader spoke on the psychology of weight loss and OB fellow Tom Wonderlich covered the care of obesity during pregnancy. We finished up on Sunday with an excellent presentation on the use of probiotics by Dr. Robert Martindale of OHSU. Thomas Jefferson University's Dr. Salvatore Mangione was a world-class presentation on the need to reintegrate right and left brain thinking in medicine and an Augenblick approach to gait analysis. We also learned from IMA's Teresa Cirelli how to correctly bill for obesity management.
We saw a similar dynamic of multiple perspectives unfold at a career readiness event for year two residents, our R2 Unit Training in January. Both Boise hospital systems had a turn to talk about occupational values, site visits, interviews, and CV's, followed a brief on employment contracts and RVU's. Then a panel of independent physicians from the three resident specialties represented sharing the joys and challenges of being a non-employed physician. Afterwards, Direct Primary Care "evangelist" Dr. Julie Gunther had a ring of residents pelting her with questions and studiously taking notes.
These experiences illustrate the high value ACMS places on being a "big round table" for the medical community to meet at. In an attempt to tear down the silos of healthcare - whether it is between specialties, independents and health systems – we strive to nurture a medical community that fosters professional and collegial relationships that can operate without unnecessary barriers.
Dr. Dike Drummond – the blog editor of thehappymd.com and an upcoming ACMS guest speaker on May 10 – often says that "physician burnout is not a problem to be solved, but a dilemma to be managed." Likewise, just as there is no one right way to manage obesity or a best place or way to practice medicine in Boise, it is in the civil exchange of ideas and information from which we believe the most good can come. Now if you're a resident, you might just want the "right answer" to pass your boards, but beyond that, most physicians really appreciate a healthy discussion with a variety of perspectives.
At the end of Winter Clinics, a husband-wife physician couple who are new to Boise approached me and related this: "We have been a part of multiple medical societies over the years and I can tell you we've never seen one like this. You truly have something special here." The beauty of that statement is that what they experienced at Winter Clinics is available to all members year-round through our programming and I hope more will join us at the table.