Friday, June 04, 2004

Dr. Smith had an interesting post yesterday in which she answered a reader's email about the lack of unity in medicine. I wanted to comment on this question and answer:

3. Who should lead & speak for doctors in Ohio?

That's a tough one. I guess the Ohio State Medical Association should, but not every doctor is a member. Professional organizations, like the American Medical Association and its sister organizations in each state, are widely perceived as being too narrowly focused on the needs of sub-interests within the organization. Primary care doctors think they cater to the needs of specialists over primary care, and vice versa. Which makes it difficult to unite all of us, contributing to the problems noted in questions one and two

My experience at the county medical society level is that the difference is mainly generational rather than one of specialty. Most of the physicians who attend my local medical society meetings are older, and the younger ones are usually the children of physicians who have been going for years. The younger physicians when asked about their lack of enthusiasm reply with a variety of reasons, lack of time to attend meetings and a desire to spend time with family being the main ones. This inevitably leads to a rant from the older physicians about how they never took time to go see ballgames, or plays, or recitals. While not overt, there sometimes is an veiled questioning of the younger physician's professionalism or dedication.

My personal opinion is that I have better things to do with my time than go to the meetings. See more on my October 14, 2003 post.
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