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  • NH Medical Society

    7 North State Street

    Concord, NH 03301

    (603) 224-1909

    (603) 226-2432 fax

    [email protected]

    Charles Blitzer, MD….... .President

    Palmer P. Jones………….EVP

    Catrina Watson…………..Editor

    NHMS New President..................... 1 It has Been a Good Journey .......... 2 Legislative Update ......................... 3 Adult Emergency Care................... 4 Rx Law ........................................... 6 Q&A................................................ 6 CME, Meetings, Events.................. 7 Inauguration................................... 8

    Opinions expressed by authors may not always reflect official NH Medical Society positions. The Society reserves the right to edit contrib- uted articles based on length and/or appro- priateness of subject matter. Please send correspondence to “Newsletter Editor” at the above address

    Physicians Bi-Monthly

    NEW HAMPSHIRE MEDICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER NH Medical Society; For The Betterment of Public Health Since 1791

    January/February 2009

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    Charles Blitzer, MD Thank you to those who were able to at- tend my Inaugural dinner. It is very hum- bling and quite daunting to be the 177th president of the New Hampshire Medical Society. Many of you have shared with me that I have a tough act to follow – I became acutely aware of that fact a year ago when Oglesby Young, MD, (Oge), described a true passion of his in his inau- gural address entitled “Saving the Soul of Medicine.” Oge put great energy into that effort this past year in his work with the Medical Society emphasizing what we, as physicians, seek to accomplish and what we need from society – to provide us with a reasonable working environment. I became somewhat more comfortable with taking on the Presidency of the New Hampshire Medical Society when I spent a working weekend with Oge in November at the AMA interim meeting. I want to touch not on the soul of medicine but, rather, on what an Orthopaedist might call the skeleton of medicine, that upon which we rely to accomplish our healing art: Communication.

    It is quite fitting that we are gathered for my inauguration in an art museum as, cer- tainly; much of what art does is to commu- nicate about human feelings and emo- tions, hopes and worries. It gave me great pleasure to have had most of my family with us. My Mom, an artist, gave us all an appreciation of the skills of visual communication. My Dad, who died in 2004, made a career in a field of medicine known to rely heavily on communication, Psychiatry. He clearly conveyed to my brother, a radiation oncologist, my sister, who works in medical faculty development and myself, the satisfaction of a career in medicine. As an Orthopedic Surgeon, a field not known for its practitioner’s stellar communication skills, I hope to encourage all members of the Medical Society to work to improve both our individual and our collective skills in this area. This is critical for all physicians and for medicine for many reasons:

    With clearer communications our patients will better understand their diagnosis and, hopefully, improve their ability to manage their condition. Improved communication can improve patient satisfaction and pa- tient safety – something I have seen re- peatedly at the medical liability claims re- view committee I serve on. Poor commu- nication can have devastating conse- quences as discussed by the cardiologist and Nobel laureate, Bernard Lown, who wrote about “words that maim.” Good communication improves physician satis- faction as well.

    NHMS Welcomes New President

    Continued on pg. 9

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    It has been a great privilege to serve as your New Hampshire Medical Society President. I have been honored to represent the doctors of this state as one of your advocates with lead- ers of both our federal and state govern- ments. Like presidents before me, I have en- joyed the unique position of trying to make better both the lives of physicians and our patients. With our capable medical society staff and the support of other active physi- cians, we have fought to protect the environ- ment in which we work- the environment in which we as physicians care for our patients.

    This job has been a rich educational experi- ence and deeply gratifying. Time from my practice has given me many moments to re- flect. One of the benefits of a long career is there being plenty to look back on.

    Medicine has been good to me in more ways than I could have imagined when I applied to medical school. It has taught me discipline, empathy and a fullness of heart when con- necting with other human beings from all walks of life. We experience human emo- tions to another depth- great joy, deep sor- row, frustration and fear, and certainly love from which all emotions take root. To para- phrase the famous German poet, Maria Rilke, as physicians we have many occasions “to look into ourselves and find how deep is the place from which life flows.”

    The other day I saw a four year old girl, Melissa, with her mom who is about to have another daughter. I said to Melissa “I hope your baby sister comes out as smart and as healthy and as pretty and as kind as you.” And she looked up to me and added “and, and, and, and with no cavities like me.”

    Just before Christmas I saw a three year old boy, Paul, with his mom who is having an- other son. I asked Paul if he had named his

    baby brother, and he said “Yes.” His mom quietly smiled, sheepishly covering her face. So I asked Paul “what is his name going to be?” And he proudly announced, “Santa Claus.” Oh, how deep is the place from which life flows.

    Medicine continues to transform more rapidly than ever before. We are able to do consid- erably more for our patients than when many of us started. Who could have imagined that in-vitro fertilization would be such a viable option today when I saw infertile couples years ago? Our profession was dominated by primarily middle-class, white males when I joined. It has since become greatly enriched by the full acceptance of women and the em- bracement of those from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. My son’s sec- ond year Dartmouth Medical School class presently has 55% women and 45% minority students.

    So much of what is wondrous in medicine is communal. I am grateful for the presence of others who have shared my journey. A high- light of this year has been traveling the state to speak with medical staffs and to meet phy- sicians from many communities. I am im- pressed that we are a faithful, compassionate and uncompromising lot when it comes to caring for our patients. Despite the growing complexities in medicine today, it is apparent that most of us have not forgotten why we chose to be physicians.

    You sacrifice much for the privilege to do great work. You help many, far more than you can know. Please accept my admiration and my gratitude.

    As I leave this position as President of our Medical Society, I have three simple but im- portant thoughts. First, there has never been a more critical time for physicians to engage in

    It Has Been a Good Journey

    Continued on pg. 3

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    the legislative process. We have a health- care crisis with costs steeply rising, grow- ing uninsured and aging populations and limited access to primary care. For this rea- son, there are many forces outside of medi- cine wanting to change the way we prac- tice. Let us be mindful that those of us who really understand patient care should be at the lead of any health care reform.

    Second, as physicians I hope that we never underestimate the meaning of our support for one another– physically, intellectually and spiritually. Although there are mo- ments in medicine that feel very lonely, knowing that we are on this journey to- gether should always be a comfort.

    And finally, we should never let anything or anyone compromise our relationships with our patients. Technology is exciting and our expanding base of medical knowl- edge is truly gratifying, but it is our rela- tionships with patients that will keep us going on our journey in medicine. I worry that we are reading MRI reports and not listening to our patients’ stories. I fear that we are looking into the screens of com- puters more than we are looking into their faces– missing expressions which tell us far more about the human condition. It is this soul of medicine that makes our pro- fession so special. Let us always fight to preserve this soul.

    Thank you for the opportunity to have served you and to have known you better.

    Oge Young, MD

    Legislative Update