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President's Message January 2018

Membership at the Indianapolis Medical Society

Season’s Greetings and Happy Renew Your Indianapolis Medical Society Member-ship Month. Remember why you chose medicine as your profession: to improve the conditions of patients’ lives. To be most effective, you work hard to develop and nurture relationships with your patients, staff members, colleagues and supe-riors. Those relationships can be inordinately strained by working within our hec-tic, disorganized, and unrewarding health care system. The injuries to relation-ships have left most physicians feeling isolated and disaffected, which harms our profession and each of us.

One way to make a positive difference is by increasing your involvement in your Indianapolis Medical Society. As a medical student, looking for free nutritious meals, I began coming to meetings. Feeling welcomed, I got to hang around suc-cessful local doctors. By coming together consistently, within a structure that is informed by its history as well as the collation of the talents and experience of its members, there is a creation of positive energy that truly impact professional and personal growth, advocacy for physicians and promotion of improved quality of patient care. I became active when I could – through debates, working on special projects, sharing stories.

I believe the IMS is now more than ever relevant to our members. Please check out our website imsonline.org for a description of benefits, including, but not lim-ited to lobbying the legislature, providing a source for patient referrals, consulta-tions for legal, business, and ethical matters. Our demographics have changed, with the increase of employed physicians relative to private practice physicians. This should increase the attraction for physicians to join the IMS for a voice and an important way to play a role in creating those activities that are valuable to ev-er changing practice paradigms. To provide the benefits that members need and want, we need to collect dues. The IMS Board of Directors is dedicated to being transparent about how far dues go in providing specific services. Currently our dues structure can cover most expenses, but we need to make changes to stay fis-cally viable, without raising dues. We have undergone an independent analysis of our organization with the goal of continuing to exist as a local society. I promise to keep you informed as to the results of our study and encourage you to contact me with your ideas.

The Indiana State Medical Association, serving physicians members within the en-tire state, is separate from IMS, and we enjoy a great working relationship. Through much discussion, the ISMA will increase and change the dues structure for its organization. The new structure will not require membership in county-led medical societies in addition to ISMA membership, as of 2019. Most of the debate about dues increases happen at convention, which cannot be attended by every-one, but the changes in structure and dues are important for us to understand. Please see Dr. Marc Kappelman’s letter published in this edition. He has expressed the mounting frustrations of owning his own medical business, working harder for decreasing reimbursement. He has generously volunteered his spare time to participate in both IMS and ISMA activities in innumerable activities over the years. His letter brings up important concerns about how the individual physician fits in to the new structures being debated.

As you reflect upon the season of cherishing your relationships and ponder the importance of renewing your membership to our medical society, please remem-ber that the Indianapolis Medical Society is for you. It can be that port in the storm by strengthening your professional relationships, creating opportunities to support other physicians, advocating for patients and ensuring healthy environ-ments for us all.