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President's update: Nov/Dec 2017

Posted By Alan Kimura, MD, MPH, Monday, December 11, 2017
Our profession of ophthalmology remains strong in Colorado.
There is plenty of credit to go around.

We are fortunate to have many committed physicians across this state working daily to restore and preserve vision. It is impressive how hard we work for our patients not only in clinic and surgery, but also to sustain our own practices. 

Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the pillars of physician engagement at work
The higher purpose of serving our patients, is attained only after achieving mastery of a number of domains. To complete residency/fellowship, and then build a successful practice, takes nearly half of our lifetime.

Surely, the vehicle for a career in medicine remains the practice – the way forward to achieve true mastery in the 21st century is to revitalize our practices for an increasingly data-driven, value-based and patient-respectful delivery of care. 

I am taking our practice through a journey of growth and renewal, collaborating with peer practices, and studying modern business practices (Toyota “lean”, and data analytics, to inform our business strategy). Our practice’s unique path of transformation is a creative expression of our autonomy.

The case for continuing your annual support of CSEPS
One ophthalmology practice alone, however competent, cannot stand alone in today’s healthcare ecosystem. 

Many other states faced scope of practice expansions in 2017, so we need members to stay engaged, to fend off these and other threats to our livelihood.

We should be grateful that CSEPS has a very strong executive director and lobbying team in the State Capitol, with their ear to the ground. CSEPS remains vigilant and has proven highly effective in defending our profession in both the legislative and regulatory arenas.

Challenge ourselves to reach higher, to serve our communities better
The USA has prioritized healthcare delivery over the social determinants which maintain health (housing, jobs, food, transportation). In a comparison with other industrialized nations, the USA’s outsized spending on healthcare in relation to the value achieved (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.) is more readily explained. As a result, there remain many uninsured and underinsured people in our communities unable to access or afford our services. By the time they present for care, the missed opportunities to affordably treat disease at an earlier stage are lost, leading to greater costs borne by the payers of care (ultimately all of us). 

The opportunities to provide care for the uninsured remain an unmet community challenge. We have tried unsuccessfully to organize a free ophthalmic surgery day over this past year, and hopefully a collective, renewed effort will succeed in 2018.

Thank you all for your hard work on behalf of our patients in 2017
It has been my privilege to have served our profession as president. As my year comes to an end, I ask only for your continued strong support of CSEPS annually. CSEPS is the only professional organization built to defend and promote ophthalmology’s interests – enabling us to fulfill our purpose as healers.

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