President’s Perspective: We Need to Talk

Pino D. Colone, MD

MSMS President

As physicians, it is our goal to improve outcomes for all patients. We work continually to pursue new scientific research and better treatment options for all our patients. But there is one area of improvement that still needs much more attention.

A growing body of research shows that different populations of patients experience disparate health outcomes based on race, age, ability, gender, or other socio-economic factors. While the causes of these disparities are myriad and deep, we have not done our job as a thoughtful society of practitioners if we haven’t examined them thoroughly with an eye toward correcting them.

That is why MSMS has developed a task force to leverage an important statewide dialogue about health equity across Michigan.

It is important for us to have the conversations, as challenging as they may be, if we are to do our duty to the millions of Michigan patients who look to us for their care. We need to understand the root causes of the inequities they are experiencing and address them in ways that are meaningful and effective.

Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Nobody expects a group of individuals to sit around a table and have a comfortable conversation about some of the most profound issues that divide us as a society. However, there are few discussions that are more essential at this time in our state’s history.

We know we need to make our future better than our past. We need to end the issues that result in health outcomes that are different between various populations of Americans.

And it begins with a willingness to start the conversation.

Pino D. Colone, MD, MSMS President