A strong foundation. Unity. Cooperation. These are essential elements for success when individuals come together for a common purpose. Achieving shared goals means learning first how to work in unison – or perhaps BEAT in unison.
That’s exactly what happened at the start of the 162nd Annual Convention. Rather than hear a keynote speaker, attendees were pulled into action through a communal drumming experience. The interactive opening by Drum Café served to break down barriers, inspire people, release creativity and bring participants together as a team.
|The Drum Café, which opened convention, was started in Johannesburg in 1996 by Warren Lieberman. He says, “Drumming is something everyone, and every culture can relate to. The first thing you hear when you come into this world is the beat of your mother's heartbeat. Drumming relaxes, energizes and motivates in a way most team building companies cannot explain.”
ISMA members pictured (left to right): Agnes Bacala, M.D.;Jerome Adams M.D.; David Welsh, M.D.; and Cindy Basinski, M.D.
But the session had its speakers too. This year, physicians heard from Dean Paul Evans, D.O., of the state’s new College of Osteopathic Medicine at Marian University in Indianapolis. Delegates learned the school will welcome its first class in 2013, and expects to graduate 150 medical students in 2017.
At a time when physician shortages loom, Dr. Evans said, “We intend to produce a high percentage of primary care doctors.” He also told the audience he hopes to be an active member of the ISMA. (Note: IU School of Medicine Dean D. Craig Brater, M.D., was invited to speak as well but was out of the country.)
Getting down to work
ISMA physicians know the issues. They wrote resolutions seeking action even before a Los Angeles Times analysis made headlines, noting U.S. drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities.
Adopted Resolution 11-06 from pediatrician Jeb Teichman, M.D., seeks to expand usage of the Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collections and Tracking (INSPECT) program. His resolution encourages legislation requiring methadone clinics to use INSPECT for patients’ prescriptions.
Another of Dr. Teichman’s resolutions (11-05), also adopted, seeks legislation requiring methadone clinics to identify pregnant clients and provide them information about the effects of methadone on fetal development.
“Large numbers of infants in Indiana are born addicted to opiate drugs,” explained Dr. Teichman. “These infants need to be closely monitored for neonatal abstinence syndrome and, if treated, will remain hospitalized for four to six weeks at great costs to insurers and government.”
Because not all pharmacists have Internet access, Resolution 11-34 garnered ISMA support for a legislative or administrative remedy requiring all pharmacies to provide staff access to the INSPECT website.
Students, as well as patients, were a concern for ISMA members. Recognizing the escalating costs of a medical education, the House of Delegates voted to send Resolution 11-35, concerning expansion of the Student Loan Repayment Program, to the Board of Trustees for action.
At the Sunday House session, Maria Del Rio, M.D., of Evansville, spoke passionately about the need to stand up for students. The House applauded and rather than not adopt the resolution as recommended, voted to have the Board of Trustees take action.
Other ongoing concerns for doctors were the subjects of resolutions. See the ISMA website or the insert included with the Oct. 11, 2011 print version of Reports for disposition of resolutions on key issues like pathology billing regulations (11-33), the online Indiana Death Registry system (11-55 and 56) and supervision of retail health care clinics (11-04).
See more on convention on the ISMA website.