“The Future of Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice is Bright”
It is hard to believe that my term as President of the Philadelphia Obstetrical Society is coming to end and soon I will be transferring leadership to Marjorie Angert DO, MPH. This last year has been a very satisfying time for me and I hope that you found much enjoyment from our meetings and stimulation from our fine guest lectures. It was truly an honor to plan each monthly meeting and a satisfying challenge to schedule each lecture consistent with the theme of technology in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I would like to thank all of the council members for their unwavering commitment during my presidency year. Many of the milestones reached this year could not have happened without your support, including the increase in society membership this year.
I would also like to acknowledge the numerous contributors to the Society newsletter this year. Whether the article highlighted the ongoing discussion about healthcare reform or served as an introduction to an upcoming lecture, the contributing authors deserve much praise. This year’s lecturers were outstanding and presented topics consistent with the common theme of “technology in Obstetrics and Gynecology”. Some of the highlights of this year’s lecture series were are follows:
In October we heard from Dr. Arnold Advincula, Medical Director of the “Global Robotics Institute” at Florida Hospital and a world-renowned robotic surgery pioneer. Arnold discussed “The Evolving Role and the Current State of Robotics in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery”.
In the month of November, Stephen Klasko, MD, CEO of USF Health and Dean of the USF College of Medicine, dazzled us with his lecture “The State of Healthcare Changes and Physician’s Adaptability needed in the Near Future”. Dr. Klasko enlightened us with his views on the future of healthcare, the education of our residents, the competency evaluation of practicing physicians, and how to address the fiscal challenges that we face ahead.
Our January meeting was in conjunction with the Reproductive Endocrinology of Philadelphia and discussed issues that are close to home for me personally. Dr. Norbert Gleicher, founder of the Center for Human Reproduction, and Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR-New York, spoke about “The Challenges of Gender Selection and Single Embryo Transfer in IVF”.
During our February meeting (and yes I do sincerely apologize to all of your loved ones for the Valentine’s Day conflict), Fay Rozovsky, JD MPH, from the Rozovsky Group discussed a subject so pertinent in today’s society “The Challenges of Social Media Tools – What We Can Do and What We Should Not”. Fay highlighted the potential risks and the significant penalties due to the inappropriate use of social media tools in the medical industry. The significance of her lecture is that it applies to all of us, regardless of discipline or subspecialty. Fay certainly gave us food for thought as social media seems to be the foundation of the now generation.
At the joint Ob/Perinatal Society meeting in March, Dr. Ron Wapner, Director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, NY. Ron, a leader in the field of prenatal fetal DNA analysis, discussed “Microarray and Newer Technologies in Today’s Practice of Obstetrics”.
And finally in April, Miles Murphy, MD, from the Institute of Female Pelvic Medicine, discussed “Critical Evaluation of the Newest Gadgets in Uro/Gyn”, a lecture that highlighted the current approach to pelvic floor disorders and the controversies related to mesh utilization.
For the president’s night presentation I decided to concentrate on the challenges and excitements related to the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology that are ahead of us. I will talk also about cutting age technological advancements in Gyn/Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Reproductive endocrinology and general Gynecology. Thus, in this newsletter I asked multiple contributors to address the past, present and future of medicine in the US and the approach of resident physician education to help prepare for these changes.
It seems a general consensus that in the face of today’s medical economics, the practice of medicine is permanently changed and that there lays no road that will return us to the former health delivery system that past generation physicians have seen. Perhaps some of the new generation of doctors, attune to the dynamics of today, think that the past quality of life is merely folk lore and thus equate well-staffed offices and strong reimbursements to that of the Lock Ness Monster or Bigfoot. We must work hard, collectively, to change the face of medicine and to stimulate, motivate and empower both the current and the new generations of physicians to promote, and yes in some instances return, the satisfaction, pride and thrill that we all felt the day we received our degree.
How is this accomplished; how do we change what is in our control. How do we change the face of medicine? How do we ensure that the new generation is adequately equipped to perform in today’s technological world and ensure adaptability to future technology?
Ken Braithwaite provides a stimulating article equating the success of the business of medicine with that of the armed forces; to “attack” the challenges that we face today with a similar philosophy of agility, creativity and flexibility. Our success (like that of any business) will depend upon the ability to adapt to our ever changing environment and be able to think outside the box. This approach is not only practical for patient care, quality and outcome but for the healthcare business models of the future.
Arnie Cohen M.D., addresses the impending changes in medicine as dictated by payers and the government. He compares recent changes with what we know is still constant with regards to patient care and resident education. Arnie agrees that change is inevitable and that we should work collectively to shape our own future by re-evaluating medical and graduate education and by competency certification. Patients should be recruited to do for themselves and create healthier lifestyles. Whatever system is in place to address the future of medicine, it must continuously involve us.
Steve Klasko M.D. MBA addresses the factors of the future of medicine that are within our control such as competency of physicians as a whole and writes as the days of see one, do one, teach one are over for the training of future residents. Steve promotes the use of simulation environments and team work as the future of training and competency assessment.
Peter Schwartz MD discusses the need for personal integrity and professionalism that will define the way in which we treat our patients and ourselves.
It is interesting that although the 4 contributors address the future of medicine and medical education with different angles and “flare” the underlying themes are common in that the way we approached the practice and business of medicine in the past in obsolete. To succeed in the future will require a team effort to almost revitalize medicine as we know; to establish quality standards, training and retraining, and to preserve and promote public opinion, and to involve our patient population in good health habits. These together just might change the face of medicine, rejuvenate current practicing physicians and inspire the generations to come.
Despite all the challenges, I believe that we live in a remarkable moments, I know that there is a lot of excitement about the potential that lies ahead. We need new partnerships between academic institutions, government agencies, private sectors, patients’ organizations and payors to redesign the delivery of care. We need courage, we need talent and the best and the brightest. I know that we have all this in our region.
Please join me to discuss all these issues at our next meeting.
Thank you for the privilege to serve as your president.