NCMS Morning Rounds 10-26-20

Welcome to a new week and your NCMS Morning Rounds!

Oct. 26, 2020

NOTE: NCMS Morning Rounds editor, Elaine Ellis, is out of the office for the remainder of this week. Look for your next NCMS Morning Rounds on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Make a Voting Plan – and VOTE!

North Carolina is on track for record voter turnout in the General Election, which is next Tuesday, Nov. 3 — just eight days away. Be part of history and make sure you have a plan to vote, if you haven’t already. A few reminders: Early voting is underway and will continue until Oct. 31. Time is almost up to request an absentee ballot – your county board of elections office must receive your request by 5 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 27. If you already have completed a mail-in ballot, you can drop it off at an early voting site. Access the NCMS Voter Tools and Information webpage for details.

Casting a ballot doesn’t seem to be the way physicians are exerting their influence. A recent study found physicians were 14 percentage points less likely to have voted than the overall population between 2006 and 2018. An earlier study, between 1996 and 2002, found physicians were 9 percentage points less likely to vote than the general population. This bucks the general voting trend that wealthier, more educated people are more likely to vote. Learn more about this study, published on the JAMA Network here.

Physician Survey Shows Strong Support for Single-Payer Option

The latest Physicians Foundation survey on the future of the US health care system in light of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that two-thirds of the nearly 1,300 physicians surveyed support a single payer system with an option of private insurance as the best or next best option for the country. Half of those survey respondents support maintaining or improving the current Affordable Care Act.

The survey, COVID-19 And The Future Of The Health Care System, is the third in the Foundation’s three-part series, 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians, examining how COVID-19 is affecting and is perceived by the nation’s physicians.

When considering the future of the health care system over the next two to five years, 64 percent of physicians rank providing affordable health insurance as extremely important to ensuring high-quality, cost-efficient care for all, followed by 55 percent of physicians who ranked increasing the number of physician leaders as extremely important.

“Our current health care system is directed by policymakers and business executives, instead of physicians,” said former NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA, who now serves as CEO of The Physicians Foundation. “Physicians are the foundation of health care, and as such they know what is best for our system, and the patients they serve. These data provide a clear picture of what physicians want to see in our health care system. It’s critical these insights are included in any and all health care reform discussion if we hope to improve access to quality care.”

Read the full survey and summary report here. Watch for North Carolina specific survey results in an upcoming NCMS Morning Rounds.

Two NCMS Members Make History

NCMS members Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist, dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise, and a practicing vascular surgeon, and J. Wayne Meredith, MD, chair of surgery, chief of clinical chairs, and trauma, thoracic and critical care surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist, made history this month. They are serving as back-to-back presidents of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) – the first time in the surgical organization’s 107-year history that surgeons from the same institution have been elected in consecutive years, according to the ACS.

Dr. Meredith was installed earlier this month for a one-year term as the 101st president of the ACS, the largest organization of surgeons in the world, with more than 82,000 members. Dr. Freischlag was recently elected to serve as the president-elect and will be installed for a one-year term as ACS president in October 2021.

Throughout his career, Dr. Meredith has served in numerous leadership positions with the ACS and other professional medical societies, has authored or coauthored more than 170 scientific publications, more than 20 book chapters and one textbook on trauma, and continues to lead various research projects focused on trauma.

As an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome, Dr. Freischlag treats patients from around the world. In addition, she has published nearly 300 original papers, has written close to 60 textbook chapters, has held leadership positions in many medical and surgical organizations and is a sought-after speaker in areas such as women’s leadership in medicine and vascular surgery. Dr. Freischlag was a keynote speaker at the NCMS’ 2018 LEAD Health Care Conference.

Congratulations to both Dr. Meredith and Dr. Freischlag!

In the News
FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19, FDA Press Release, 10-22-20

FDA Approves Gilead’s Remdesivir as First COVID-19 Treatment, Fox News, 10-22-20

Learning Opportunity

Reminder: Virtual Town Hall on the ‘State of Health Care in the Triangle’, including an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. Learn more and register here.

Also, the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society invite you to tune in on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. for a panel discussion with Chapel Hill, Novant and New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) physicians who will answer questions about the recently approved partnership between Novant and NHRMC. Join the discussion via zoom at this link:
Meeting ID: 950 0306 6317 and meeting password: 652121


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