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CMS: A Foundation for Change

It’s with awe and appreciation that I begin my term as president of the historic Chicago Medical Society. I come to this position with a varied background: teaching students and residents in the academic world, practicing primary care in community hospitals and university-based settings, and working in organizations that oversee quality in physician training and certification.

The field of medicine has changed a lot since I finished my residency. While there’s still joy in the practice of medicine, we physicians contend with so many forces distracting us from our mission, depleting our energy, and stripping our autonomy. We feel the triple assault of electronic health records, ICD-10, and “value-based” care.

As your president, my goal is for CMS to answer these challenges, by drawing upon our 165-year-old legacy as a foundation for change.

We can take heart in the groundswell of support among physicians fighting to reclaim control. For example, a newly established group called United Physicians and Surgeons of America, seeks to “mobilize and engage physicians to create a united voice for responsible change in restoring physicians’ autonomy and protecting the doctor-patient relationship.”

It’s only when we speak with one large, loud collective voice that we will be heard. It is only when we find mutual benefit, and support one another, that we all win. Otherwise the corporate interests in health care have their way at both our and our patients’ expense.

Narrowly focused specialty societies cannot achieve the broad scale impact of large coalitions, nor can they represent all physicians on a wide scope of issues. Yet so many physicians discount organized medicine’s many successes, using this as an excuse not to join.

But, as the old saying goes, if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

The phenomenal growth of CMS’ legislative outreach program, at last count topping 150 physicians, shows our members’ will to shape the political process. Rather than apathy, they choose engagement. Some of the important work underway: enlisting Illinois lawmakers’ support for GME funding bills in Congress; easing practice burdens under Obamacare; and preventing scope-of-practice intrusions.

CMS also represents you through its collaborative efforts with the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. (See page 24 for our latest advocacy achievements on your behalf at AMA’s House of Delegates.) Every member of our profession benefits through this teamwork.

As we move through the year, please be sure to tell me what you think, good or bad. It’s our medical society, and only we can make our organization thrive through contributions of time, energy and creativity. Join me in bringing CMS forward as a vibrant and effective advocate for medicine.

I welcome you to contact me at:

Kathy M. Tynus, MD
President, Chicago Medical Society

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