NCMS Morning Rounds 10-29-19

Enjoy your Tuesday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Oct. 29, 2019

National Partner Highlights NCMS’ Work

The NCMS’ national partner, The Physicians Foundation, held a board meeting last week, attended by NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA, who is the Foundation’s treasurer. The meeting highlighted several initiatives underway including a case study involving social determinants of health (SDOH) in which the NCMS features prominently.

The Viewpoint piece highlights the NCMS’ shift from ‘fighting for doctors’ to ‘leading on health’ and how the Society has leveraged its assets, efforts and relationships to achieve this goal. As the case study states: “…the NCMS is making improving health core to its identity. While social determinants of health are gaining currency across the health care sector, few public or private entities have made improving health the fundamental lens through which they view all their efforts. In this regard, NCMS is leading the way.”

The NCMS is demonstrating this commitment by leading the way in successfully advocating that the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care must be designed to address SDOH; by partnering with The Health Initiative to research physician and physician assistant perspectives on SDOH; and our long-term and ongoing support of health system reform and value based care. Read the full Viewpoint piece.

Other initiatives underway through The Physicians Foundation include its work to alleviate regulatory burdens faced by physicians and its recently launched Vital Signs program to raise awareness around physician suicide and how to identify warning signs in your colleagues. Learn more about the Vital Signs campaign and learn the 5 Vital Signs that someone may be suicidal.

NCMS Committee To Discuss Medical Aid in Dying, CBD

The NCMS Ethical and Judicial Affairs Committee will hold its regularly scheduled meeting this Saturday, Nov. 2, at the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine in Raleigh. The agenda includes discussion of at least two topics that have generated passionate discussion among the NCMS’ general membership: medical aid in dying and cannabis/cannabidiol (CBD).

At the NCMS Board of Directors Open Forum, held on Oct. 4 as part of the Annual Business meeting at the LEAD Health Care Conference, both issues generated discussion among members present.

In response to the question: ‘Should NC pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medications for patients seeking assisted death?’ an instant poll of members at the forum showed 38 said ‘yes’ and 29 said ‘no.’ In follow-up, several attendees commented that expanding palliative care to improve quality of life for the terminally ill, those patients may not seek assisted death.

Responding to the question: ‘Do you support NC legalizing marijuana/CBD for medical use?’ 48 attendees said they supported it, while 18 responded that they did not support legalizing it for medical use. Several in the group warned that making marijuana legal for medical purposes would be one step closer to legalizing it for recreational use, something they did not support. One person argued that marijuana use is already prevalent and legalizing it could be a source of revenue through taxes or other fees that could then be put to beneficial use. At least one person expressed shock that so many were in favor of legalization when little research has been done and what has been done is inconclusive on the benefit or harm of using CBD. Others pointed to current, wide-spread problems with substance abuse, stating legalization of CBD would be a ‘step in the wrong direction.’

The Ethical and Judicial Affairs Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Directors on NCMS policy around such often controversial issues.

Spotlight on NCMS Members + Initiatives

NCMS members and our recent Maternal and Infant Health Summit have been featured in several prominent news stories lately.

Last week, the national political and policy news source, Politico, featured a story on health innovation in in North Carolina, ‘Why North Carolina Might Be the Most Innovative Health Care State in America,’ which featured longtime NCMS members, Yun Boylston, MD, FAAP, a Burlington pediatrician, Karen Smith, MD, FAAFP, a Raeford family physician; Brian Klausner, MD, an internist with WakeMed Key Community Care and Dave Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP, a Goldsboro pediatrician. All of these members have been involved in leadership roles with the NCMS through committee work, our Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership, Our Community Health Initiative and/or our Community Practitioner Program.

Also, last week, another national publication, SELF magazine, featured Venus Standard, an integral part of our work on maternal and infant health, and our Maternal and Infant Health Summit held earlier this month. Read the article. Due to the overwhelming interest in this topic, a third summit meeting is in the works for 2020 to again bring together key stakeholders in order to effect positive change in maternal and infant health in North Carolina.

In the News

Health-care System Causing Rampant Burnout Among Doctors, Nurses, The Washington Post, 10-23-19

Learning Opportunity

The 4th Annual John W. Hatch FaithHealth Lecture will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Shaw University in Raleigh. This event will provide a forum for participants to engage in open dialogue with a diversity of individuals, communities and institutions relevant to the fields of faith and health. The goal is to build stronger communities and improve health and the quality of life in our communities. Registration deadline is Nov. 5. To register, please email your name and organization (if applicable) to Robin Danner at


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