Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doctors and Civics

Monday Diane Rehm had “A Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss” during which he discussed his initiative to encourage a civics curriculum in public schools.  It struck a cord with me as I faced my first meeting as a first-time trustee of the Arkansas Medical Society Board***.

I feel out of place.  There is language and protocol I don’t know.  I was asked (strong-armed) and said yes.  After listening to Dreyfuss, I am (almost) ashamed that I had to be strong-armed or even asked to be involved.  As a citizen of the United States, as a citizen of Arkansas, as a doctor and member of the society, perhaps it is as Dreyfuss believes – it is my duty to be involved.

The Dreyfuss Initiative is to teach our younger generation to be why civics is so important.

“To teach our kids how to run our country, before they are called upon to run our country….if we don’t, someone else will run the country.”  Richard Dreyfuss

Even though I wasn’t taught the importance of “civics” in the medical profession, it isn’t too late to learn.  So later today I will be attending the Arkansas Medical Society Day at the Capitol, the lunch and afternoon events.  I am forgoing the evening reception.

Is being involved only on the level of your local hospital enough?  Probably not, but it is a start.  Policy set in our local hospital or even in our offices are influenced by national and state policy.  It is important (as I am learning and admitting) to be involved on a state and national level.

I am not fond of politics, so this is not a natural fit for me.

Currently, I serve on the LRSC Medical Executive Committee (local surgery center) and the Pulaski County Medical Society Board of Directors.   In addition to being a member of my county and state medical societies, I am a member of the American Medical Association though I often don’t feel represented well by them.  Perhaps that is my fault.

…..

How involved are you?  How involved do you think we should be?

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***There is a question of whether I will be needed after all.  As with the US Congress, the number of trustees each county society gets is related to their membership/population.  It seems Pulaski County may have lost a trustee, so I may not be needed.

By the way, if any of my fellow Arkansas colleagues are reading this, the Arkansas Medical Society is having a membership drive.  Consider joining if you aren’t a member.

1 comment:

BrainDame said...

Being involved is good though I also believe involvement can and should take many forms-some are best suited for action by writing, some by speaking, etc. I will soon take on the chair of our national SE/advocacy group in neurosurgery so...I have gotten very stuck in.
Hope you do end up serving, I think you will find it rewarding.