So much has happened in the recent weeks that should be of value to us humans and as family physicians. I can’t even begin to touch on them all but I will cover just a few…
In the context of where we are as a country, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the case against Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd saw its conclusion in the past month. While there was a moment to stop and appreciate that some measure of justice was achieved, there is also the sobering recognition that it took an international outcry to get what should have been the expectation, the minimum. And to be clear, when I say “justice” it is not a reference to the outcome, but rather a reference to the fact that a man was accused of a crime, brought to trial, received an effective defense, and a judgement was rendered by a jury of his peers. That is the justice that our Constitution theoretically affords us all. Yet, we must keep fighting for justice and with our continued collective efforts equal justice can become the standard.
We can and should celebrate that the country recently reached the milestone of 100 million COVID vaccines administered! But as COVID continues it death march around the world, we must acknowledge our interconnectedness, understand that none of us are safe unless we are all safe, and continue any and all efforts to actively support each other through this pandemic.
This last year has really shined a light on just how much many of us are juggling in our personal and professional lives. Professionally, family physicians function in a sea of unending need and even before the pandemic we were aware of the toll that our labor of love can take. After all we have been through, hopefully more of us are ready to engage in protecting physician wellbeing, including our individual wellbeing. The MDAFP is launching the Wellbeing workgroup to enhance your career satisfaction and promote strategies to help us collectively support each other and protect our wellbeing. The academy aims to partner with other associations, employers and groups that support our goals, but more importantly we want to partner with you! To get the most value from this workgroup, we need your participation in guiding the effort. So, whether you need help getting to wellness, or if you feel you have mastered it, or you are somewhere in between, you are exactly who we need to join the group.
We continue to be active in operationalizing of our strategic plan and we are going to highlight some of those activities in this issue. Dr. Kathryn Hart is going to give us an update on the work that the Pipeline subgroup is doing to build and maintain the family medicine workforce. Hopefully, you will be inspired to mentor and/or precept our future family physicians. The experience may be rewarding and inspiring for you as well. Also, there is a bonus, you don’t have to give your time for free, the Maryland Preceptor Tax Credit authorizes a credit against the State income tax for individuals who have served as a preceptor in certain preceptorship programs and work in certain areas of the State with a health care workforce shortage (more details here). There are students and residents in need of role models and teachers for clinical preceptorships and shadowing experiences that illustrate the continuous, compassionate, and essential care that family physicians provide. There is someone that really needs to hear about your imperfect journey, so please contact the academy for more information.
Until next time,
Jocelyn Hines MD, MBA
“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that does not believe that.” – C. Assaad