This is a year that truly will never be forgotten.
My attempt to focus on some silver linings is in no way disregarding the human and emotional toll of the pandemic. In all life’s challenges, we need to look for the positives if we are to continue moving forward.
The widespread deployment of telehealth is regarded as one of the greatest advancements to emerge from the pandemic. This can deliver greatly enhanced access to care. But it will not replace the in-person delivery of medicine due to its obvious limitations. And it will not replace the compassion that can be shared through personal interaction between a patient and physician. That physician-patient relationship is at the core of our DCMA efforts to ensure physicians can offer both in-person and telehealth services to their patients.
In 2020, we relaunched Miami Medicine as a scientific journal. We began providing free CME to members through both the print and online versions. The number of article submissions, volume of readership, and industry support continues to rise as we strive toward the ultimate goal of being recognized nationally.
This year also presented the reality that non-physician practitioners and corporate interests will continue to expand their role in health care delivery. Some of the failings of our current system enable these disruptions. As a physician organization, we embrace disruption when quality care and increased access are equally intertwined. We recognize the struggle patients face trying to navigate the system, cost of health insurance, complications of billing, and the over-regulation of medicine. Our patients need lower costs and greater access, but not at the expense of quality.
While we cannot immediately reverse the scope expansions, we’ll continue advocating for a single standard of care for patients. We’re prepared to identify when patients are harmed through substandard care. We’ll call out environments where medical professionals are placed in situations to provide care for which they are not comfortable or competent.
2020 has also brought heightened awareness of social injustice and health inequities. We’re proud of the diversity of thought and leadership throughout the DCMA. We’ve launched a task force for African American women physicians to ensure our organization is responsive to their unique needs. We also continue to advance our Community Outreach Committee and Women in Medicine special interest group.
As we spend deserved time with our families during the upcoming holidays, let’s be thankful for continued health and the health of those that are around us.