Dear friends and colleagues,
It is a thrill for me to offer my greetings in this message, which is my first as the newly-inaugurated President of the Michigan State Medical Society. It is a professional honor and a personal privilege for me to help guide this organization over the next year. I thank you for your trust and ask for your continued support of and involvement in MSMS, because we have a lot of important work to do.
A key part of this work includes advocacy in the halls of government on behalf of our patients and our profession, and the feature article in this edition of Michigan Medicine focuses on the urgent need for us to be heard, both individually and collectively.
Once again, an all-too-familiar push to expand the scope of practice for non-physicians is being discussed in the Michigan Legislature. Most recently, we saw this with the effort to remove physician supervision from anesthesia care in Michigan. Now, new legislation has been introduced allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently.
As physicians, we know that this is not best the approach to take if we are serious as a state about providing quality, safe, accessible and affordable care for patients. In fact, Doctor Martha Gray, an Ann Arbor primary care physician quoted later in this edition, says it very well. “Public policy in Michigan should acknowledge, respect, and protect Michigan’s patient-centered, physician-led health care model,” she tells us. “It’s what patients want and what patients deserve.”
Advocating for this physician-led health care model is the top public policy priority for MSMS. It is why we have led the creation of Michigan for Advancing Collaborative Care Teams (MIACCT), a diverse coalition of health care providers you will learn more about in this issue. MIACCT is working together to inform policy makers about the importance of physician-led care.
It remains important that physicians across our state engage with their lawmakers to protect and promote the policies that best serve our patients. Working together, our voices can help bring about the important, sensible policy changes our patients need and deserve.
We have a lot to accomplish together in the weeks and months ahead. I am excited to be working on your behalf for this next year as MSMS President, and look forward to our future collaboration.
Thomas J. Veverka, MD, FACS