The official e-newsletter of the Maricopa County Medical Society  

Volume 11  |  Issue 7  |  April 1, 2016   

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The MCMS Preferred Partner Program - We've Got You Covered!
You're Invited to Attend AOMA's 94th Annual Convention
Arizona Legislature again interferes in medical practice

Big changes in addiction medicine
Big changes are happening in the medical field. Last week, the american board of medical specialties announced physicians can now become certified in addiction medicine. Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, the Medical Director at UF's Health Recovery Center says, "There's always been a great debate in society with addiction. Is it a medical problem, is it a crime, or is it a sin."

A question that is now one step closer to getting answered. The American Board of Medical Specialties is allowing doctors to become board certified in Addiction Medicine. Although it's been studied before, this is considered a breakthrough for those in Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Teitelbaum says this could help reduce the stigma surrounding addictions. "They have been using drugs in an addictive fashion. Both in their 20's both since 14 or 15. Truthfully, when you look at both of these cases, they should have been recognized, and should have been intervened on much earlier."

Read more >> 

Arizona doc develops guidelines to improve patient-physician conversations
Dr. Kevin Haselhorst is not your average ED physician. The Arizona-based Haselhorst has dedicated his career to engaging patients in end of life conversations. His approach is unconventional and flips the convention that doctors must initiate these conversations with their patients. In Haselhorst's view, patients need to be proactive and feel empowered to ask their doctor if the care prescribed is what he or she wants or needs.

"Patients need to ask these questions. They need to ask themselves, what was happening when I got sick? What am I truly feeling?" explains Haselhorst.

He adds that patients of all ages have a tendency to develop a childlike demeanor when talking with their physician, and may leave important care decision up to provider, without questioning the plan that they may want at end of life. The following questions provide structure and are intended to empower adult conversations between patient and physician.

Read more >> 

How implantable brain chips could change medicine forever
In the future, taking a pill to treat a headache may seem like a low-tech solution. 

Scientists have built an implantable brain chip that regulates the amount of dopamine in mice using an electrical impulse, a process that could one day be used to treat human patients suffering from various disorders, IEEE Spectrum reports. 

When dopamine levels fall below a specific level, the chip sends an electrical impulse to neurons that causes them to release more. The device works essentially the same way a thermostat automatically monitors and controls temperature in a room. 

One of the benefits of an implantable chip to regulate chemicals in the brain is customizability. While doctors prescribe Prozac and Ritalin to boost serotonin and dopamine, respectively, drug therapy can be a one-size-fits-all solution to symptoms that vary from person to person, according to IEEE Spectrum.

 Read more >> 

Please Remit Your 2016 Dues
Please take the time to renew your Maricopa County Medical Society membership. You may do so by calling the MCMS membership office at 602-252-2015 and select option zero ("0") or by clicking here >>

New Tucson clinic integrates mental, physical health care
Arizonans with serious mental illness die on average three decades earlier than the regular population - a troubling statistic a new Tucson clinic is aiming to change.

Banner Health's Whole Health Clinic, which opened Feb. 2, is where people with mental illness can receive behavioral and primary health care in one place. It occupies 19,000 square feet on the second floor of a Banner building at 535 N. Wilmot Road near East Fifth Street.

A message handwritten on a whiteboard inside a room intended for socializing reflects the clinics' philosophy: "If you treat people like they make a difference, they will."

Putting behavioral health providers in the same building as primary care doctors is not new, but Banner's Whole Health Clinic is different for several reasons, including an integrated "team approach" to its patients, clinic leaders say.

University of Arizona College of Medicine announces new scholarship for Navajo students
The University of Arizona colleges of medicine in Tucson and downtown Phoenix announced last week a six-year partnership with the Navajo Nation to establish scholarship funds for Navajo medical students.

The scholarship, named the Navajo Nation Future Physicians' Scholarship Fund, was established to encourage more Navajo students to pursue careers in the medical field by providing financial assistance, Tara Cunningham, associate dean of University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix, said.
Cunningham said the medical field sees 41,000 applicants yearly, including 200 Native Americans, less than half of whom are Navajo.

"They see finance as a barrier, so we are going to take that off the table," Cunningham said.

University of Arizona initiated the process of forming the scholarship after Karen Francis-Begay, the university's vice president of tribal relations, noticed the Navajo Nation had a similar partnership with the University of New Mexico School of Law, Cunningham said.

Medical students need your supervision performing physicals at upcoming TOPS events.  
TOPS, or a Team of Physicians for Students, was founded in the 1970s by MCMS member and sports medicine specialist and family physician, Paul Steingard, DO. From his many years in private practice, he identified a tremendous need for young athletes to be screened and provided free physicals, including cardiac tests and consultations. Since its inception, over 40,000 youths from 8th grade to community college have received the FREE screenings. Other notable sponsors are Midwestern University, which joined the cause in 1998, and the Arizona Heart Institute, which provides the ECGs and Echo cardiograms,  around 2006.

Physician volunteers to supervise medical students are needed at the following upcoming events:

April 2, 2016
7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Sunnyslope High School
All shifts are available.

Breakfast, snacks, and lunch will be provided for volunteers. 
Parking is at the western part of the campus. Look for the signs leading you to the TOPS volunteer entrance from the parking lot.

April 30, 2016
7:30 am - 1 pm
Youngker High School, Buckeye
Any hours you can volunteer are greatly appreciated.

Breakfast, snacks, and lunch will be provided for volunteers.
Parking is at the westernmost part of the campus. Look for the sings leading you to the TOPS entrance. 

The event covers general liability for the facility, but not for the physicians. However, there is legislation that helps protect physicians who volunteer for events such as this health fair.

Read the statue >>

To volunteer, please contact Ross J. Kosinski, PhD, Dean of Students, Midwestern University by calling 623-764-0511 or email him to

Tenet, Phoenix Children's Hospital negotiate lease for Arizona Heart Institute facility

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) - which owns and operates the Abrazo Community Health Network in the Phoenix area - is in negotiations to lease its Abrazo Arizona Heart Institute building to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Plans call for moving the Arizona Heart Institute outpatient clinic across the street on the campus of its Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital at 20th Street and Thomas.

The outpatient clinic would move into the Arizona Heart Foundation's office building, where founder Dr. Ted Diethrich maintains his office, along with the foundation's School of Cardiac & Vascular Ultrasound.

Diethrich always had a dream of moving the institute to the hospital campus before he sold both those operations to Vanguard Health Systems Inc. six years ago. Then in October 2013, Tenet bought Vanguard for $4.3 billion, taking with it the Abrazo network.

IASIS Healthcare opens clinic in Downtown Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and IASIS Healthcare announced the grand opening of a state-of-the-art Multi Specialty Clinic that will provide downtown residents and employees with their first comprehensive healthcare option in the area.

The 28,000 square-foot clinic is located inside what was formerly the Phoenix Suns Athletic Club, on the southeast corner of the Talking Stick Resort Arena lot.

The clinic is the cornerstone of a partnership between IASIS Healthcare, a national health services organization, and the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. Its first-class amenities will provide access to convenient, high-quality healthcare in the same place where the teams' basketball stars will have services performed as well.

"As a leading provider of health services with three hospitals, a behavioral health hospital, numerous physician practices and a managed care organization, this clinic is a significant addition to our operations in Arizona. It fills a huge void for those who live, work and attend school in downtown Phoenix with no access to vital healthcare services," said Carl Whitmer, CEO of IASIS Healthcare.

'America's Doctor' to address UA graduates

The keynote address for the 152nd Commencement of the University of Arizona will be delivered by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

The nation's leading spokesman for public health, Murthy is a champion of improving care and building coalitions, having devoted his career to the enhancement of global public health through education, service, clinical care and entrepreneurship. 
Murthy, 38, was nominated by President Barack Obama in November 2013 and then confirmed as the 19th U.S. surgeon general in December 2014, becoming the first Indian American and the youngest person to hold the position.

The son of immigrants from India, Murthy discovered a love for the art of healing early in his childhood while spending time in his father's medical clinic in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Harvard University in 1997 with a degree in biochemical sciences. In 2003, he earned his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, and also a Master of Business Administration, with a focus in health care management, from the Yale School of Management.

Murthy believes that the nation's greatest asset always has been its people. As surgeon general, he has fought to educate and inspire his fellow Americans around a key set of priorities: mental health and emotional well-being, healthful eating, active and tobacco-free living, chronic disease prevention, and the country's growing opioid epidemic.

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