South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday September 19, 2018
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September 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 3

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A Pledge to Impact the Medical Profession

Barbara Montford, M.D., DCMA President

Even as a young, determined female student with a drive to succeed, Barbara Montford knew that her personal participation in a gifted student program, graduation from Brown University, earning a medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School or completing a residency at University of North Carolina Hospitals and becoming boarded in Urological Surgery were individual achievements. Yet, individual accomplishment was not enough of an imprint to make on the world. She wanted to be committed not only to self but also to others.
 
Now, as the newly installed President of Dade County Medical Association (DCMA), Dr. Barbara Montford, the first African-American woman to hold the position, remains committed to others by addressing the challenges that doctors face through an organized body of medical professionals. She believes that physicians need to learn to advocate for their patients and profession as a group and encourages colleagues to join the DCMA. “Together, we can be a part of the solution and accomplish things at an accelerated pace,” she said.
 
Her presidential platform specifically exemplifies her beliefs. Its foundation is an aggressive passion to undertake goals that address opportunities to effect change including: the rights and obligations that the credentials MD or DO entail; social engagement in the community locally, regionally and nationally; guidance regarding the roles of physician leadership and allegiance with employers; and, launching a pilot program to partner with other professional groups of organized medicine to offer mutual membership and leverage those affiliations to make the profession stronger.
 
Montford said, “As leaders we need to engage in community issues where we can impact a solution.” She intends to involve DCMA in projects such as the Travon Martin Foundation, local police associations or the University of Miami needle exchange program spearheaded by Dr. Hansel Tookes to share collective knowledge and provide support of existing programs to better the health and welfare of local communities and those who live there.
 
“Never in our history has there been such a diverse menu of challenges and opportunities on the physician table,” she explained, “Medicine is not only a science and an art, but it is also a business with many influencers.”
 
For example, Dr. Montford is vocal about legislation and governmental regulations. She believes House Bill 21 regulations regarding controlled substances has potential to restrict medical care by grouping certain prescriptions for chronic illness in with opioid curtailment and can infringe on patient care.
 
“We need to appreciate the honor of having patients place their trust in us by taking aim at regulatory issues that negatively impact their care,” she explained.
 
Collegial Support
She also espouses mentoring and networking opportunities for members to reflect diversity goals and professional representation and to drive competency to future generations. She aspires to increase representation from African-American and Haitian-American medical communities in the DCMA and promote the involvement of women doctors in the different activities throughout the year.
 
Overall, her main goal is to lead a more diverse, inclusive, and representative association of physicians for Miami Dade County.
 
“As individuals we are diverse—from different races, creeds, genders, cultural, socioeconomic and employment backgrounds - but we are united as physicians at the table to ensure we have input into solutions that address our profession and ultimately quality of patient care,” Montford emphasized.
 
Professional Guidance Manual
Another of her main objectives is to develop a manual to guide physicians in navigating the world of medicine today. Today physicians interact not only with patients, but with multidisciplinary clinicians, hospital executives, governmental agencies and community organizations. Clinical skills are the primary foundation of a patient care plan but layering on an understanding of other influences and relationships provides credible knowledge and motivation to achieving a lifelong satisfying career.
 
According to Dr. Montford, “Challenges regarding balancing patient care and paperwork, professional stressors, reimbursement, workloads, employment, and multi-disciplinary supervision, are just a few of the many issues that doctors deal with and we need to be savvy in order to advocate for ourselves and provide some control over our professional and personal futures.”
 
Mutual Membership Pilot
Finally, as stewards of professional practices, Montford proposes a DCMA pilot program to strategically partner with other professional societies via joint membership in order to leverage mutual advocacy efforts to make a greater impact on the practice of medicine now and for future generations.
 
The DCMA is the organization of choice for physicians who advocate for patients and for the quality and sustainability of the practice of medicine. Its mission is to support its members in all aspects of the practice of medicine; to serve physicians and their patients by establishing and promoting ethical, educational, and clinical standards for the medical profession, and to advocate the highest principle of all, the integrity of the patient/physician relationship.
 
As President, Dr. Montford is dedicated to working with the Board and Management to fulfill its mission and elevate the organization to the next level.

For more information, call (305) 324-8717 or email abosch@miamimed.com.

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