July 2014

Meetings are a labor of love. We all know the struggle of finishing a day at the office, only to remember that dinner meeting we had scheduled downtown, that somehow morphs into a three hour re-explanation of old topics before any real work takes place; at the same time, we all realize the important changes many of those meetings have helped to bring about.  


Eager to find a solution to this paradox, our board sought to revamp GLMS meetings from the bottom up. When asked, members (particularly younger members) indicated they have a clear desire for more ad hoc committees and task forces with specific foci rather than standing committees that encompass many topics, as it is perceived that these often lead to redundancy, re-explanation, frustration, and a lack of implementation. Conversely, ad hoc committee members would receive background information prior to meeting, study it, meet, make a decision, present that decision to the board, implement it, and disband. Furthermore, younger physicians made clear their desire for a less formal atmosphere surrounding meetings as informal environments foster a freer flow of ideas. Lastly, they pointed out the untapped potential of technology to accomplish goals in less time with more efficiency (and without tedious business meetings after work). In essence, members want less reporting, less review, more discussion and more decision making. All of this has been taken into account in our strategic plan.


Overall, the plan is quite simple: reduce the number of committees, reduce the frequency of the remaining committees' meetings and in doing so, increase member involvement by decreasing the monotony. So, our thirty-three committees quickly shrunk to seventeen, nine of which now only meet on a quarterly basis. After all the cutting was done, a number of important committees remain "standing." Among these, for those of you interested in the public health sector, are: the Environmental Medicine and Workplace Health Committee (which meets to discuss the impact of environmental issues on the health of our population and often supports and endorses research studies or grant-funded environmental projects), the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee (which helps members incorporate nationally recognized peer-developed performance measures appropriate for patient care and seeks to inform the public about the importance of "true" quality measurements) the Bioethics Committee (which studies medical ethical issues and provides conclusions to the Judicial Council), and Surgery on Sunday (a new involvement for GLMS to help provide surgery for those who fall through the gaps in the system). 


For those more interested in the business aspect of the society, there are the Insurance Issue Resolution Committees (which meets with the major carriers in Kentucky to resolve physician hassle reports/complaints, communicate trends, etc.), the MSPS Entrepreneurship Task Force (for business-minded members to explore and launch ventures that benefit physicians), the Emerging Medical Concepts Committee (which examines the trends in medicine and proposes action plans for GLMS), and the Wear the White Coat Task Force. The political action sector still includes the KMA Delegation (which develops resolutions to be submitted to the KMA) and the Policy and Advocacy Team (which educates members on public policy and legislative issues that impact medicine while fighting for patient safety, care, and medical practice). Although this may seem like an alarming amount of change, it was actually just the first step.


Along with their desire for a change in the decision-making structure, many physicians spoke out about their wish for more social interaction; they wanted to put the "S" back in GLMS, and so do I. Over three hundred physicians, friends and families enjoyed the recent Presidents' Celebration, "Bourbon and Water," at the Water Tower. Social events are a highlight of the society for many, and we can do more on this front.  


Additional socializing will lead to a more cohesive community of medicine in Louisville and greater cooperation as a whole. More social networking (think shaking hands not Facebooking at work) helps harbor a sense of community as well, something we need as a S-ociety. Face-to-face interaction in this manner, rather than in the structured setting of a board room; an action-oriented society, rather than a meeting-centric group of individuals; time together interacting socially rather than languidly conversing in a dimly-lit board room: this is the future of GLMS.    


Bruce A. Scott, MD

GLMS President


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Greater Louisville Medical Society Mission Statement:
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