NCMS BOD President-Elect: Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA

Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA

Specialty:  Child, adolescent and adult psychiatry

Practice:  Winston-Salem, NC

Type of practice:  Independent practice

Medical School:  Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Why I am seeking this position:   I’m running for NCMS President-Elect because I believe having physicians and PAs engaged in organized medicine is the best way to ensure quality medical care.

A lifetime of experience has prepared me for this next step in physician leadership.

Growing up in eastern NC, I’d hear from my physician father the challenges his patients faced, and saw first-hand the life of a small town general surgeon.  In college, a UNC/Duke health policy course placed me in Washington, DC working for the Chair of the US House of Representative’s Public Health Committee, where I experienced the complexities of developing sound public policy.  In my psychiatric practice and my collaborative care work with primary care, I see how people’s emotional problems can complicate their physical health.

As physicians and PAs, we have much more in common than the differences our various medical specialties suggest.  I’ve witnessed this in my experiences with organized medicine—as President of the Forsyth County Medical Society, President of the NC Psychiatric Association, graduate of the NCMS Leadership College, and my nine years on the NCMS Board, including my term as Speaker of the House of Delegates.

NCMS is tackling a myriad of difficult issues, from creating physician leadership in Medicaid reform to addressing high rates of burnout, while balancing the problems that affect large stakeholders and those that spell success or failure for private practices, like my own.    I pledge to provide strong yet thoughtful leadership as we address new challenges and opportunities.

The top three issues facing physicians and PAs in North Carolina today are: 1) Medicaid reform. The Medicaid program has a major impact on North Carolina’s residents both directly and indirectly.  About 1.9 million residents have Medicaid and the total yearly budget is $14 billion.  With these large amounts of people and dollars, Medicaid reform will change health care delivery, even if a physician/PA doesn’t treat Medicaid patients and NC doesn’t expand Medicaid.   A major change for the NCMS is the creation of NCMS/Centene’s Carolina Complete Health Network.  Opportunities include:

  • improved population health
  • new chances for physician leadership
  • physicians/PAs empowered to be engaged, rather than being controlled by non-clinicians in managed care companies

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