Message from President

Carol Egner, MD

doctor exhaustion

Message from President Carol Egner, MD

I love medicine …

 MG 1637

Thank you so much for this opportunity to serve you. I love medicine. No matter what stage of our career, we are always learning. There is always more to learn. We never know enough. Most young women and men are motivated to choose medicine for altruistic reasons.

Medicine has many advantages:
• It is challenging and diverse;
• Provides a steady career with a much better income than most; and
• Yields rewarding relationships with colleagues and patients.

There are a few drawbacks:
• The practice of medicine has changed more in the last 15 years than almost any other profession. In 2012, 25% of physician practices were hospital owned. Four years later, it was 46% nationally, 50% in the Midwest, and 70% in Cincinnati.
• Twenty years ago, eight measures were reported, e.g., morbidity, mortality, drug reactions, etc. Now there are hundreds of mandatory measures. There are 70,000 different illnesses, more than 4,000 medical procedures, and more than 6,000 different drugs to prescribe.
• We are measured by our hospitals, employers, insurance companies, and the government. Patient satisfaction is measured constantly and it’s hard to meet the expected 90th percentile. Physician satisfaction does not seem to be as important. Training, licensure, and ongoing specialty certification is getting more complex. And for medical students, imagine graduating from medical school and finishing your residency $300,000 in debt.

• In the US, health care comprises 18% of our economy, 30% of that has nothing to do with patient care.

And finally, there is the electronic health record — EHR.
There are positives — E-prescribing, the ability to see other provider’s notes, the means to easily review office notes, imaging studies and labs, and coordination of patient care
The down side — The record loses many of the fine details of the exam and procedures are practiced with smart sets and drop downs. Every note has more verbiage yet less information.
Physicians spend, on average, an extra 785 hours per year to keep up with charting, data entry, diagnostic/procedure codes and charges. That is two hours more per day including Saturdays and Sundays. Can you imagine CEO’s doing their own spreadsheets??

Still the goals for improving health care are the same for all stakeholders — BETTER OUTCOMES, BETTER SATISFACTION, and BETTER-COST EFFICIENCY.
However, mandates do not change behavior. Communication and transparency change behavior

So this is where the purpose and role of the Academy of Medicine is so important:
The Academy of Medicine should be THE VOICE to advocate on issues affecting physicians’ ability to practice in an environment that fosters the highest quality medicine possible.

A few years ago, the Academy experienced a decline in membership. But, over the past two years there has been a renewed interest, with previous members rejoining and new members signing up.
It is imperative for physicians to have an impartial, non-competitive organization where they can voice their opinions, share experiences, and work on solutions for all physicians.

What does the Academy have to offer?
The Academy is concentrating on these key areas:
• Physician wellness focusing on prevention and education;
• Political and professional advocacy;
• Dispute resolution and legal practices as they relate to physician wellness; and
• Educational and social activities.

To succeed the Academy needs the support of all physicians.
Help us restore your local medical society – which has been around for more than 150 years – to a place of prominence
in our medical and Cincinnati communities.