Morning Rounds for Sept. 11, 2019 – NCMS Member Services Team Special Edition

It’s Wednesday! Here’s your mid-week, guest-edited version of the NCMS Morning Rounds.

The Member Services team is responsible for today’s Morning Rounds – enjoy!

Sept. 11, 2019

AMA and NCMS Work Together to End Burnout with Launch of Practice Transformation Initiative

The NCMS is working together with the American Medical Association (AMA) and other state medical societies to fight the root causes of physician burnout and dissatisfaction by supporting the launch of the Practice Transformation Initiative. This ambitious project strengthens the AMA and NCMS resolve to advance evidence-based solutions that increase joy in medicine. The NCMS is participating in the project thanks to generous funding from The Physicians Foundation.

While the frequency, causes and impacts of burnout have been well researched, actionable solutions have had much less rigorous analysis. As a result, information on effective interventions remains limited. The mission of the Practice Transformation Initiative is to fill the knowledge gaps regarding effective interventions to reduce burnout. Participating practices are using validated assessment tools to measure burnout: are field-testing interventions designed to improve workflows; applying practice science research methodology to evaluate impact; and, sharing best practices within an AMA-facilitated learning community.

NC member practices participating in this innovative pilot program include:

  • Boice-Willis Clinic
  • Cancer Care of Western NC
  • Catawba Valley Family Practice
  • Chatuge Family Practice
  • Durham Internal Medicine
  • Piedmont Health
  • Wake Emergency Physicians
  • Wilmington Health Associates

For a glimpse of the programs these practices are actively piloting, visit STEPS Forward™ —the AMA’s collection of more than 50 award‐winning online tools that help physicians and medical teams make transformative changes to their practices and covers everything from managing stress and preventing burnout to improving practice workflow.

Members can learn more from their colleagues on returning joy to the practice of medicine at the NCMS LEAD Health Care Conference, by sharing best practices and collaborating on solutions. Register today at

Speaking of LEAD….

The LEAD Health Care Conference will feature an enjoyable and thought-provoking discussion, a “Book Club” of sorts, as Kaye McGinty, MD leads dialogue on the The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina: Stories From Our Invisible Citizens, by Gene Nichol.

Dr. McGinty recently spoke with the author, who is the Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC School of Law. Mr. Nichol has traveled the length of North Carolina, conducting hundreds of interviews with poor people and those working to alleviate the worst of their circumstances. Here their voices challenge all of us to see what is too often invisible, to look past partisan divides and preconceived notions, and to seek change. Only with a full commitment as a society, Nichol argues, will we succeed in truly ending poverty, which he calls our greatest challenge.

Dr. McGinty suggested the book selection for discussion by NCMS members, because even as a physician in eastern North Carolina, she was shocked by what she learned. “I worked in rural North Carolina, so it never occurred to me that Mecklenburg could be North Carolina’s richest county, with one of the highest food insecurity rates. Along with the plenty in our state, we have some real desperation,” she says.

Dr. McGinty praised the NC physicians who are cited specifically by Mr. Nichol as fighting for change in their communities, including:

  • Steve Luking, MD, who maintains a family medical practice with his brother in Reidsville;
  • Pradeep S. Arumugham, MD, a cardiovascular disease specialist and Julius Mallette, MD, an OB GYN, both of whom practice in Kinston; and
  • Evan Ashkin, MD, professor of family medicine at UNC School of Medicine, where he teaches in the underserved track of UNC Family Medicine’s residency program.

“Poor people in the South—our patients—are alike, regardless of race, geography. There is a history lesson here that has opened my eyes to the problem of poverty and the history of this issue in North Carolina,” says Dr. McGinty. She adds, “Physicians listen to each other. We have a real have an opportunity to talk about this and make change.”

Join your colleagues at the LEAD Conference for NCMS’ first “Book Club” discussion. The book is available on Amazon here.

FSD County Medical Society Announces Closure

Last week, NCMS Executive VP, CEO Robert W. Seligson was contacted by Jim Robinson, Executive Director of the Forsyth-Stokes-Davies County Medical Society, who reported that their leadership has made the difficult decision to suspend operations.

Mr. Robinson is completing his 43rd year as executive director. He says, “The Forsyth County Medical Society was formed in 1903, or 116 years ago. I was the first executive director, hired in the beginning of 1976. There have been tremendous changes in the profession over my tenure. Unfortunately, those changes have reduced the support for the County Medical Society and for the profession in general.”

He adds, “I am grateful to everyone who has supported me and the Society over the years. I have enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I will continue to manage the Community Care Center for at least another year, so I am not retiring now. The Community Care Center began under the auspices of the Medical Society and is an organization of which we are very proud. It is the largest free healthcare clinic in NC and, according to the national association, the fourth largest in the country.”

The NCMS commends Jim Robinson on his many years of service to the physicians and patients of his community. Thank you, Jim!
Ronnie Laney, MD

And speaking of LEAD, again….

The Forsyth-Stokes-Davie County Medical Society is not alone. Many county medical societies express frustration about lack of support for an organized physician forum at the community level. The NCMS Member Services team works frequently with county medical societies to host meetings and encourage interaction and programming. If you have high hopes for your county medical society, please attend the LEAD Conference to hear Durham-Orange County Medical Society (DOCMS) President-Elect Ronnie Laney, MD, present a talk on how the DOCMS has harnessed the activist energy of their medical community to partner with their community public radio station and to hold discussions on public health issues such as gun violence. Register here for the LEAD Health Care Conference to attend Dr. Laney’s session.

Listen here as Dr. Laney and Andy Kubinski, MD, discuss back-to-school health with WCHL’s Aaron Keck, as part of their collaboration with their local radio station.

Renewing your NCMS Membership is Easier than Ever

Watch your email in early October for your 2020 membership dues billing statement from the NCMS and its partner organizations. For the first time, dues statements will be sent out by email so that members can renew online, or print an invoice for processing. Thank you for your continued support of your professional organization.


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