Maricopa County Medical Society distributes free PPE to physicians in need.
Credit: Edward Araujo, MCMS Communications Coordinator
MCMS in 2020: Executive Director's Update, Fall 2020 issue
By John E. McElligott, MPH, CPH, Executive Director, Maricopa County Medical Society
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Lorenzo Pietro “Yogi” Berra
After serving as a Navy gunner’s mate during the Normandy landings, Yogi Berra went on to play for the Yankees for an astonishing 18 years. As a trusted catcher, Yogi and the Bronx Bombers fielded competitive teams, winning five consecutive championships under manager Casey Stengel. That success has persisted over time.
The Yankees franchise succeeds, in part, by expecting change and evolving to fit the prevailing style of baseball. They take the fork in the road.
How MCMS Adapted
So, too, did MCMS take a fork in the road in 2020. We pivoted from in-person networking events to hosting online CME talks and providing a virtual venue for physicians to share their frustrations about practicing medicine during a pandemic and the first global recession triggered by such an outbreak. We dedicated the Summer and Fall 2020 issues of Arizona Physician to examining impacts of COVID-19 and how it has changed medicine.
The impact has been substantial and in a positive way. The Maricopa County Department of Public Health leverages the MCMS network of physicians and our building in midtown Phoenix as a distribution hub for personal protective equipment. Hundreds of doctors throughout the valley picked up tens of thousands of N95 masks, KN95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, nitrile gloves, and gowns. Private practices received the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-quality PPE.
Request free PPE at www.surveymonkey.com/r/RequestCountyPPE. MCMS staff will follow-up with details.
Purchase PPE at https://actionppe.org/3/mcms/. ActionPPE is the network trusted by doctors throughout the nation.
MCMS has also grown its status as a trusted community partner. We assisted the county and state health departments with soliciting volunteers for back-to-school vaccination clinics, influenza vaccine clinics, and a potential COVID vaccine. We participate in the Roll Up Your Sleeve campaign from the Arizona Department of Health Services to increase use of flu vaccines.
Our organization doesn’t settle. MCMS is always pursuing ways to promote excellence in the quality of care and the health of the community, and to represent and serve its members by acting as a strong, collective physician voice.
One step forward was creating our Diversity Subcommittee. We aim to discuss ways to assess the current racial and ethnic diversity of physicians in Maricopa County and develop a plan for recruiting and retaining a more diverse physician workforce. For example, we learned the Arizona Medical Board and Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners do not collect data on the racial and ethnic identity of physicians. Before the medical community sets goals for a more diverse workforce, we need a baseline.
Interested in helping to create a more inclusive medical community? Volunteer online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/MCMSdiversity.
Practicing physicians are on the field. You’re taking swings for your patients and working hard to ensure they get the care they need. While MCMS supports your interests today, we also have an eye on who is on deck and in the batter’s box. We want to connect medical students with doctors to learn the ropes and prepare for their careers.
We are launching the MCMS Shadowing Program through which practicing physicians would volunteer as hosts for local medical students to shadow your physician-patient interactions. This would involve an occasional half or full day of shadowing, as your availability and schedule permit. We expect most of these shadowing experiences to be a one-time experience for the students, and therefore will not require an ongoing commitment on your part. There will be no expectation to evaluate the medical students. If you are willing to serve as a shadowing host, then please sign up online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/MCMS_Shadowing_Hosts.
Whether your medical team is large or small, consider Maricopa County Medical Society your utility player. We can play several different positions for you. Need a referral to a lawyer or accountant? Call us. Need a company to collect delinquent accounts? Our Bureau of Medical Economics company remains one of the largest medical collection agencies in the state since 1951. Need source and credential verification services? We got you covered, owning the largest credentialing program in Arizona. Would you like patient referrals? MCMS has a patient referral hotline and online search tool.
Regardless of your work setting, draft MCMS for your team. We will help you to expect changes and evolve as medicine shifts over time. For more information about membership, visit www.mcmsonline.com/join.