ISMA President John P. McGoff, MD, discusses 4 priorities for 2017-2018
Dr. John McGoff
John P. McGoff, MD, an Indianapolis emergency physician with extensive military and governmental affairs experience, was sworn in as president of ISMA on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the 168th Annual ISMA Convention in Indianapolis.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. McGoff discussed four priorities for ISMA determined by the Board of Trustees at its 2016 retreat. The first, he said, is clear, targeted communication.

“We need to work closely with our specialty societies, our hospitals and our large practice groups,” he said. “And … we’re going to work closely with the Indiana Hospital Association. I’ve committed to forming a task force that’s going to work with chief medical officers from around the state. The importance of this can’t be understated, since more than half of our physician practices now are owned by hospital systems.”

The second priority is to attract and engage new members, particularly employed physicians and physicians in training, when membership in professional organizations everywhere is declining. “This is a problem of recruitment, but also of retention,” Dr. McGoff said. He noted that ISMA must help members solve challenges that weigh on them most, such as maintaining wellness, paying back student loan balances and securing residency slots. 

The third priority is physician leadership, in the form of diligently fighting any burdensome new laws or regulations for physicians at the federal and state levels, Dr. McGoff said. “What are we doing as an organization to help physicians with daily practice? What’s causing high rates of burnout? Is it EHR, MACRA, MIPS, prior authorization? The list is endless.” 

The last priority, he said, is ISMA’s impact on the medical industry. “During the retreat, we identified 30 different groups that we touch on a frequent basis: the Joint Commission, DEA, Anthem, pharmacies, nursing homes, urgent care, hospital administrators — the list is long and, frankly, overwhelming.” He noted the importance of improving ISMA’s relationship with key stakeholders. “How do we implement all of their policies and still stay in compliance without fear of missing something?” he asked. “It’s not getting any easier.”

His most important takeaway from the retreat, Dr. McGoff said, was “the why of ISMA.”  

“We are the largest, most influential group tackling all of their issues,” he said, citing ISMA’s successful advocacy for reasonable medical liability rates and expansion of residency slots, as well as its testimony against the Anthem-Cigna merger. “When your partner asks you, why should he or she be a member, proudly declare that we are recognized as a unified voice of medicine in Indiana.”

Dr. McGoff holds an appointment to Community Hospitals of Indianapolis, where he has served on the board of directors and chaired the emergency department, the emergency department quality assurance committee and the bylaws committee. A 27-year ISMA member, he has served as president-elect and speaker of the House of Delegates. Previously, he was a member of the ISMA Commission on Legislation, Commission on Education and the Board of Trustees. He has also been president of the Indianapolis Medical Society and on its board of directors. He served on the Indiana Medical Licensing Board from 2012 to 2016.

In addition, Dr. McGoff is a retired brigadier general with the Indiana Air National Guard. He attended the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College, served with the Office of the Command Surgeon for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and was director of emergency services at Joint Base Balad in Iraq in 2008-2009. He ran for Congress in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District and served on Gov. Mike Pence’s campaign team on veterans-affairs policy, as well as on Gov. Mitch Daniels’ health and insurance policy team. Dr. McGoff was the Marion County coroner from 1997 through 2004.