Page 11 - Volume 70 Number 1
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Letter to the Editor
Thank you for sharing the Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS) Bulletin for October/ November/December 2017. We reviewed, “An Analysis of the 2017 House of Delegates Meeting.” Dr. Burney’s analysis and prioritization of the 2017 Resolutions was interesting.
Kent County has always enjoyed participating in the discussion attempting to improve the environment in which our members practice. We feel many of the Resolutions focus on access to care, advocacy for industry improvement, and suggestions for the safe delivery of care. Contrary to the review, many of the Resolutions written by Kent County physicians address the very issues that practices (with members and non-member physicians) have with issues involving patients they serve.
Michigan’s county societies vary in membership, reasons for participation, and discipline priorities.
Kent County’s members contribute richly to the House
of Delegates meetings and show dedication to the process with many Resolutions being accepted by the AMA House of Delegates. The Kent Delegation represents local members’ interests. By listening to members’ concerns and addressing problems identified by physicians, we hope to improve patient care, access,
and career satisfaction, which allow skilled physicians
to enjoy a prolonged career caring for patients.
The reference that the Kent County Delegation “brought in a hired gun from Pennsylvania Medical Society to testify against, making patently false accusations,” is an error that should be publicly corrected. Please be advised that the President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society attended at the request of the Michigan State Medical Society – a reciprocal courtesy of the Midwest states, seeing unified effort and encouraging improved communication between the state societies. The Pennsylvania Society President contributed his own opinions and insight on various topics, and he was not 1) brought in by Kent County Delegation, 2) coached nor scripted by Kent County Delegation, nor 3) compensated in any form by the Kent County Delegation.
We would appreciate a formal retraction be issued in the next WCMS Bulletin and Kent County’s formal request be shared with WCMS members. We wish to avoid misleading physician members as we work to collaborate with the local and state societies to maintain professional representation on behalf of our members.
Thank you for your time and attention. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Herman C. Sullivan, MD KCMS President
Editor’s Response
I would like to thank Dr. Sullivan and KCMS for their thoughtful comments on my story about the 2017 House of Delegates meeting. I am pleased that our Bulletin is
so carefully read. The article in question presented a personal perspective. Its intent was to call attention to what I perceived to be the cumbersome bureaucracy and trivial concerns that took up so much time and energy, and made it hard to focus on more important work on behalf of the citizens and physicians in Michigan. I thought this perspective might be timely inasmuch as the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) is presently reevaluating its mission, its sustainability, and its optimal governance structure so that it will be stronger and more relevant going forward.
My use of the term, “hired gun” was not intended to imply any of the attributes that KCMS’ letter ascribes
to it. I apologize if it caused offense. I found it odd that someone from out of state was called on to give testimony on one side of the resolution calling for MSMS to ask the State of Michigan to support the Interstate Medical Compact without also giving opportunity for testimony from one of the 22 states that have joined the Compact believing it to be beneficial.
WCMS and I appreciate the feedback and look forward to achieving our shared medical societies’ interests.
Richard E. Burney, MD
Volume 70 • Number 1 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 11

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