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MESSAGE FROM THE SCCMA PRESIDENT

JAMES R. CROTTY, MD, MBA President, Santa Clara County Medical Association

Together We Are Stronger! By James R. Crotty, MD, MBA President, Santa Clara County Medical Association The goals of the Santa Clara County Medical Association are to improve the profession, improve the satisfaction for physicians engaged in the practice of medicine, and to improve the public health. SCCMA endorses efforts to encourage healthy diet and efforts to encourage exercise. SCCMA has endorsed the efforts to improve access to health care services to citizens of California, including preventative health and management of chronic illness, with implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the creation of Covered California. To improve the profession, we continue to advocate for efforts to ensure that people who practice the art and science of medicine are adequately trained, obtain and maintain a license, and continue educating themselves on the newest and best ways to treat disease. Patient safety is the utmost concern. Do no harm is a fundamental tenet of the Hippocratic Oath. To improve the satisfaction for those physicians engaged in the practice of medicine, SCCMA and CMA have made efforts to ensure physician income, ensure that patients have access to physicians, and to ensure a good doctor-patient relationship, including the right to privacy of personal health information. The path to obtain these goals has included active vigilance and intervention by the California Medical Association. CMA has been aware of many efforts in the past, by the trial lawyers, to change laws implemented as a result of the MICRA (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act) enacted by the California Legislature and signed by the governor in 1975. CMA was watching when the trial lawyers began circulating a petition to have doctors drug tested, which, by the way, also included a change to MICRA that would enhance the trial lawyers’ income by raising the cap on non-economic damages. CMA leadership realized that this proposition was deceptive and flawed. Planning to fight this proposition ballot initiative began immediately. The implications of this proposition, if passed by the voters, were clear: increases in medical malpractice costs and premiums for malpractice insurance; burdensome, costly, and ultimately impractical and ineffective drug testing; and a mandate to use the CURES database, which is not the 6 | THE BULLETIN | SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2014

solution to prescription drug abuse. These increased costs would be passed to consumers and would, ultimately, hurt efforts to improve access and decrease health care delivery costs. CMA physician leaders have realized the necessity of an infrastructure to further the continuous improvement aims and accomplishments of this organization of physicians. Dustin Corcoran was hired as CEO. He has hired talented and dedicated staff, and created job descriptions, duties, responsibilities, training, and accountabilities. It is highly efficient and effective. We will defeat Proposition 46. When we do, it will be clear that CMA does what no other organized physician group does. It will also be clear that it is in the best interest of physicians in California to be a member. Membership guarantees that you have a voice in what the organization does, and most importantly, your membership pays for these services. Membership is the life blood of the California Medical Association. If you choose not to be a member, it is true that you will reap benefits that others have worked hard to obtain. If this seems fundamentally wrong, then you are probably a full-paying member of CMA. Please understand that dues have created the infrastructure to address issues like Proposition 46. Please understand that ongoing financial support to the organization is necessary to do the tasks and accomplish the mission. Please understand that it is not OK to stand by and reap benefits without contributing. If you know of a colleague who is not a member, please urge them to JOIN NOW! It is easy to apply online at http://sccma-mcms.org/ Membership/ApplyOnline.aspx. Together, we are stronger!

James R. Crotty, MD, MBA, is the 2014-2015 president of the Santa Clara County Medical Association. He is a urologist and is currently practicing with The Permanente Medical Group/Kaiser in San Jose.

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