Page 6 - Volume 69 Number 1
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From the Editor
About a year ago, Rudi Ans- bacher mentioned to me that he was planning to step down as editor of the Bulletin, a job he had done with admirable diligence and dedication for a decade. In his familiar declarative tone of voice, he told me I should consider taking on the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Thank you, Rudi, for all your work on behalf of the Washtenaw County Medical Society and your stewardship of the most informative, readable county society bulletin in Michigan.
It is one thing to accept a job like this; it is quite another to decide what to do with it. What is my vision for the Bulletin? Going forward my goals can be summed up in two words: “communication“ and “community.” Through it communications, the Bulletin should serve the medical community and at the same time helping
to build a sense of community among its members.
The Bulletin is a place where the community of physicians, medical students and medical professionals should be able to turn for pertinent local information of significance to them in their daily endeavors. This would include such things as reports from the county Depart- ment of Public Health regarding status of communicable diseases and prevention in the area. This should also include information about what is going on in Lansing, what bills are being introduced and what their status is. We might consider soliciting opinions regarding some
of the more controversial topics of the day (legalizing marijuana, human trafficking) and related measures being considered within the state government and legislature, where we need to have a voice.
The bulletin should also be a place where members
of the county medical society can express ideas and open conversations. It is through conversations that we build community. And we are a far more diverse commu- nity that we were in 1977 when I joined the WCMS. In the ensuing 40 years, the ascendancy of specialization has
unquestionably improved the quality and availability of high quality medical care in our area, but the diversification has led to a divergence of interests such that we don’t have as much to talk about with our increasingly specialized colleagues. The other side of that coin is that we have much more that we can and should learn from one another. The quarterly General Sessions of the society have been exemplary in this regard, dealing the topics of import- ance to all of us. The most recent one, on recognition and management of
gender dysphoria, was both timely and remarkably informative. (See page 24). The highlights of these sessions will be summarized in the Bulletin for members that were unable to attend in person.
A third role that the Bulletin can play is to give encouragement to members to tell their stories and be
a place where those stories can be shared. I have been particularly impressed by the contributions of Dr. Cheryl Farmer in the past year. Her stories about patients she has seen, lessons she has learned, and things she has done (in addition to being mayor of Ypsilanti for many years) are both illuminating and reaffirming. I would
like to call on you to contribute your narrative; tell your story about the most interesting patient(s) you have encountered; the most valuable lessons you have learned; the tragedy that affected you most deeply; the joy when things work out; the events that changed you or those around you. Stories such as these help develop a sense of community. If I solicit a story from you, don’t be surprised; join the community and talk to us.
Developing a sense of community is especially important right now because we have just been through an election in which irrational fear and anger won the day. It appears our community is going to be challenged in unprecedented ways in the next few years. I would like the Bulletin to be a forum for sense-making conver- sation. I hope you can take me up on this challenge.
By Richard E. Burney, MD
6 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY / MARCH 2017

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