South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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September 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 3

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Being Involved 'Is Really Important' to New BCMA President

"It's nice to sit back and let other people do things, but sometimes you have to step up to the plate and do things yourself and be involved. I think that's really important." That is one of the reasons why Dr. Ramsey Pevsner agreed to accept the presidency of the Broward County Medical Association. Dr. Pevsner will be the fourth woman president in 91 years and the first Osteopathic Physician.

Dr. Pevsner, who has a private practice as a psychiatrist and also works part-time at the VA, has been affiliated with the BCMA for approximately 10 years. Founded in 1926, the organization's purpose was to improve different areas of medicine, but it has branched out in many ways. Dr. Pevsner said, "It helps to promote relationships among doctors, and to me that was very important, one of the reasons why I joined. Networking is another – it helps me to find physicians in other areas for referrals."
 
That was particularly important to her because she said she "came into medicine a little late. I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was young, but when I was growing up, women didn't do that. So I became a nurse; being that was more appropriate for women at the time."
 
She went into psychiatric nursing and enjoyed it, but said she felt a little stilted after a while. She went back to school and received her Ph.D. in psychology and practiced as a psychologist, but medical school was still calling. "So I enrolled, and I was the oldest person in my class and in my residency." But her perseverance paid off, and in 2003 she earned her degree in Osteopathic Medicine.
 
Saying that she has "always been a joiner," and knowing the importance of supporting professional organizations, Dr. Pevsner first became active in psychology associations and was president of the local chapter, and was also co-chair of the Florida Psychological Association’s women's group.
 
"I became interested in the Broward County Medical Association when I went to one of the women's group's meetings and was interacting with the women doctors. One of the women said delegates were needed from the chapter for the state convention. So I became a delegate and found it so fascinating. We vote on everything from the floor and it runs the gamut from our medical practice issues to public health. After that I started attending board meetings and became a member on the board. I think if you show up enough, they will elect you to office," Dr. Pevsner joked. Dr. Pevsner then went up the ladder from secretary, to treasurer, to vice president, to president-elect, and now president.
 
Responding to public health issues is an important function of the BCMA, and Dr. Pevsner said once a year delegates from the county medical societies meet at the Florida Medical Association to present resolutions they believe are important. One of the concerns had to do with vaccines. "A lot of people are not vaccinating their children now because they feel that they might become autistic – even though that was disproved about 10 years ago – and put susceptible people at risk, such as pregnant women or infants."
 
Another issue is the profusion of walk-in clinics that are being set up in pharmacies, strip malls, and elsewhere. While they serve a purpose, Dr. Pevsner pointed out that the BCMA and other organizations are looking for better record-keeping by the clinics to inform the primary care physicians of the visits and treatments. "If the patients go to a walk-in clinic to get an injection or for some other treatment, the doctor needs to have better access to records so that we are aware of what's taken place."
 
Additionally, BCMA offers good opportunities for networking, as Dr. Pevsner said, "We usually have a young physicians' meeting where young physicians can ask physicians in practice about different types of practices, and discuss the pros and cons of private practice versus employed practice."
 
Between her private practice, her work at the VA, and now the presidency of the BCMA, Dr. Pevsner will be juggling quite a bit of responsibility, but because she has been on the board for several years, she knows what to expect. She also mentioned that Cynthia Peterson, BCMA's CEO, "is a very big help with everything. I can't say enough about her, she organizes everything for all of us."
 
The term of presidency is one year, starting in October. Dr. Pevsner said most people just serve one term, and when it's finished some stay active while others kind of drift away. "I think they get burned out; but we have some people who are still very active." Dr. Pevsner seems as if she will be one of the ones who remains active. "Yes," she said with a laugh, "I probably will."

For more information, visit www.bcma.com or call (954) 714-9772.

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