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Letter From Dr. Burke

The Principle-Centered Medicine Double Down

The house of cards that is the U.S. “health care” system continues to re-direct capital away from the act of doctoring.  We are slowly plodding toward a crisis in patient care consequent to the misguided financial payment policies buried within the largely unread Affordable Care Act.  The pendulum needs a force to propel movement back to core values for the doctor-patient relationship. Principle –Centered Medicine™ can be the catalyst of such a movement, and we already practice as well as believe in it. 

This year’s internal medicine residency graduates have now distributed themselves into practices and fellowships naturally.  Interestingly, and a bit disturbing , is the breakdown of their choices,  where 37% went into subspecialty fellowships (stable to lower); 42% into Hospital Medicine (higher) and a mere 11% into office-based traditional practice.  We are out of balance and with structural dysfunction (Still).  The market speaks volumes and hospital medicine is a bubble that is ripe to burst.  The ACOI and its Board fully support our hospitalists and have gone so far as to create for them uniquely-focused CME options and even a satellite program within the annual convention. Hospital Medicine has a clear value and place in patient care. However, the misguided policies of the non-physician class has decimated the traditional doctor-patient primary care office culture. Ironically, this is occurring as trends in healthcare are moving to ambulatory (non-hospital), less invasive options for patients.  The apparent complete neglect of the Affordable Care Act to value private office-based practice and continuity of care is its real failure and we must counteract it with force.

Such a force is Principle-Centered Medicine™ that primarily values the doctor and the patient in every medical interaction, whether in the office, hospital or subspecialty lab. Being true to why you pursued medicine is at the heart of our principle that treats the whole patient as an individual from inception to final rest.  It’s managed by a dignified and professional team as a continuum that finds a way to deliver care to all patients regardless of their ability or background.  Our principles and practice deduce using all our senses, including touch, to heal.  Your confidence to heal is a perpetual evolution that fuels the core principle. “Become Who You Are” (Nietzsche) and double down on Principle-Centered care! The ACOI is already there and securely at home beating the house using principle as a reflection of your daily work.     

Annual Convention
The 2018 ACOI Convention Program Chair, Robert L. DiGiovanni DO, FACOI, has selected a theme of “ACOI the next 75 years.”  As we emerge from our 75th year anniversary celebration and craft our brand for the next 75 years, we continue to develop CME that embodies Principle-Centered Medicine™ for every interested physician, resident-physician and student-doctor. The merger with the ACGME is rapidly coming to finality and our coming together for half a week in October remains the core principles platform for the ACOI and its members. This year, the convention will, itself, be our best and biggest program, as each year proves, due to the progressive nature of the ACOI and our community’s medical philosophy and practice.   

Over the course of the week, there will be many internal medicine, surgical and practice management topics from which to choose.  Multiple subspecialty presentations are also planned and embody the principles of patient focused care familiar to us all.  Please join us for the welcome reception on Wednesday as we celebrate the incoming President of the ACOI, Annette T. Carron, DO, FACOI.

It is my hope that you will think of ACOI as your learning Home Base: the go-to source for education and fellowship within a Principle-Centered Medicine family.  I am at your service to help connect you in any and all ways. 

In closing, I hope that your summer has been refreshing and safe.  It is hard to believe that my year as your President is nearly over.  The ACOI has made great strides this year by broadening its CME offerings, including on-line development, identifying core principles and partnering with the AOBIM to begin the process of creating a more reasonable and metric -driven certification process in Internal Medicine. It continues to be a privilege for me, so thank you for all your support.

Respectfully submitted,

Martin C. Burke, DO, FACOI, President
President@acoi.org