I would like our membership to know that our ACS Florida Chapter had a very successful FMA Delegation. This is primarily due to the hard work and excellent planning of Dr. Dobbertein, our Legislative Chair, and our very capable staff-thank you Stacy, Brian and Ryan!
First of all, we were able to fill all of our delegate positions to maximize our voting block. In addition, there were many more of our members in attendance as delegates of various other organizations throughout the state, for example, the Duval County Medical Association. Thanks to all who participated: Drs. Dobbertein, Gallagher, Mullinax, and Redan. We attended all of the specialty society meetings, caucuses and delegations. In contrast to the description I was given regarding what to expect, I did not feel as though it was a relaxing, low-key weekend. However, I did find it to be informative, intellectually stimulating, collegial and vastly important regarding legislative policy relating to our profession and our patients.
I would say there were many highlights:
First, I would like to address the accommodations, as the Loew’s Sapphire Resort is the same property where our annual meeting will be held. I would like to commend Dr. Laronga and staff for choosing a bright, new property that is very family friendly and has Kids Camp until midnight each day. I am confident that attendees would enjoy a weekend there with the family.
Second, I feel that there were several important resolutions that we testified for or against with favorable results to our specialty and in line with the American College of Surgery’s vision and policy. I will outline what I consider to be the three most applicable to our practice:
One resolution that was defeated was a resolution to license graduated medical students who did not match to go into a track to be Assistant Physicians. Although the scope of practice and safety issues were most obvious, the argument made against this resolution and its effect on GME funding was best articulated by the medical student delegation.
Another was the rewording of the maintenance of certification resolution that brought it forth as a continuing education initiative, maintaining our professional status, and in doing so supporting our scope of practice policy and the policy of the American College of Surgeons.
Finally, the Florida Orthopedic Society brought forth a resolution to require medical insurance to ride a motorcycle in keeping with the medical coverage that is required for driving a car. We supported this and were able gain further support with the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists and the Florida College of Emergency Physicians (FCEP).
Lastly, I would like to comment on the level of professionalism and the obvious desire of the entire delegation to make healthcare the best it can be in Florida. When a discussion of the POLST resolution made it obvious that there is a lack of understanding of why this order was developed by those participating in pre-hospital care, Dr. Mullinax and Dr. Kailes, the delegate from the Florida College of Emergency Physicians, immediately started planning a collaborative educational program for our chapter (stay tuned!). In addition, the attendance of medical students, residents and fellows and the poster session competition added youth and vigor to the meeting.
In closing, I would like to thank Dr. Dobbertein again; and am looking forward to his next effort, Advocacy Day, January 25, 2018. The new Vice Speaker is Ashley Norse, MD, FCEP, and past president of the Duval County Medical Society, and Dr. Dobbertein has already reached out to her to collaborate on our legislative efforts. I have spoken to Drs. Rosenthal and Kerwin and I am hoping to see a strong turnout by the membership of all three chapters, and participation by fellows, residents and students, as the FCOT has committed to a “STOP THE BLEED” campaign at the capital as part of our program.
Stay well and stay connected and my best to all of you.
Patty Byers, MD, FACS
President, ACS Florida Chapter