Massachusetts Medical Society: President's Message: Taking Stock, Saying Thanks

President's Message: Taking Stock, Saying Thanks

Dr. James GessnerThis, my final message as president, presents an opportunity to reflect, to take stock of my tenure, and to thank you, our members.

If one theme has emerged from my communications over the last year, I hope it has been the significance of advocacy. Our efforts — and I emphasize “our” — have made a -difference in many areas.

In the battle against prescription drug abuse, we have educated our colleagues on prescribing and pain management, advised patients on safe disposal and storage, worked with government and public health officials, highlighted the importance of prescription monitoring, and encouraged more treatment for substance use disorder. We have changed perceptions: physicians are now viewed as part of the solution and not the problem.

Our stand against Question 4 stressed the health and safety threats of recreational marijuana, issues that are now being recognized and given priority by legislators as they adjust the law. We have raised awareness on the rising crisis of gun violence, with educational courses for our colleagues and resources for our patients.

Beyond public health, our advocacy has favorably enhanced regulations governing such areas as determination of need, new payment models like MACRA, and the requirements of health information technology. We have guided our colleagues on physician wellness and end-of-life care and improved member communication through social media, videos, and webinars.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president, and I thank all of you whose hard work and dedication to our society have made the last year one of accomplishment. I offer my best wishes to my successor Hank Dorkin, and know he will find as much support as you have given me. — James S. Gessner, M.D.

— James S. Gessner, M.D.

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