North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) President Docia Hickey, MD, spent an evening in Durham recently listening to the concerns of Durham-Orange County Medical Society (DOCMS) members. Earlier in the day, she shared her thoughts on the importance of professional organizations with residents in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill anesthesiology program. Dr. Hickey’s visits were a result of the NCMS’ new governance model, which creates a direct line of communication between the physicians of the state and the NCMS Board of Directors.
Kunal Mitra, MD, the DOCMS President welcomed Dr. Hickey to the forum where she began by briefly outlining the NCMS’s 2016 priorities. NCMS Board Member John Meier, MD, also was present and spoke about the new governance structure and the various mechanisms for communicating directly with the Board of Directors on policy matters. A robust discussion followed with DOCMS members speaking out on policy issues of concern to them including Certificate of Need (CON) laws, opioid prescribing, health insurance company consolidations and expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. Dr. Hickey invited DOCMS representatives to the NCMS Board of Directors meeting to further discuss Medicaid expansion.
State Senator Mike Woodard, (D-Caswell, Person, Durham) attended the meeting as well and expressed the need for physician activism to ‘move the ball’ on Medicaid expansion. He complimented NCMS legislative efforts on this issue.
Earlier in the day, at the invitation of former Durham-Orange County Medical Society (DOCMS) President and NCMS member David Hardman, MD, Dr. Hickey participated in an informal panel discussion on the importance of professional organizations with resident and attending physicians from the UNC Anesthesiology program. She shared her path to leadership and spoke of the beneficial experiences and connections she has made through her professional organization membership. The other panelists were DOCMS Immediate Past President Will Silver, MD, NC Society of Anesthesiologists (NCSOA) President Tim Gundlach, MD, Director Paul Rieker, MD. The common theme running through each panelists’ comments was that experiences in these associations and the people they met along the way were instrumental to their career development and professional fulfillment.