MSDC Leaders Testify Before Board of Medicine and Council July 30, 2020
Written by MSDC Staff
Yesterday, MSDC leaders spoke out on myriad topics before the District government as part of the Society's mission to make DC the best place to practice medicine.
MSDC President J. Desiree Pineda, MD, FACP, presented to the monthly DC Board of Medicine meeting briefly on the new Healthy Physician Program. The program, to launch next week, provides professional and peer support services for physicians who are experiencing moral injury or need a colleague to speak with during these uncertain times. Dr. Pineda gave the Board an update and reinforced the need for the Board to collect and share good data as part of the license renewal process. MSDC seeks to work with DC Health to study workforce survey data to see how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting physician wellbeing.
Also yesterday, two MSDC leaders testified before the Committee on Health on five separate bills. MSDC Board member and psychiatrist Yavar Moghimi, MD testified on B23-543, the Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2019. Dr. Moghimi testified that MSDC is concerned with the high rate of suicide in America, and referenced the higher-than-average suicide rate among medical professionals versus the entire population. However, Dr. Moghimi shared that the medical licensure process is a process designed to indicate who is qualified to practice medicine in the District, not who is most knowledgeable, and mandatory content matter across all specialties (even those who do not interact with patients) is counterproductive. Instead, on behalf of MSDC, Dr. Moghimi offered to work with DC Health and the private sector to educate the physician community on signs of suicide risk.
Samuel Kareff, MD, the Chair of MSDC's advocacy committee, testified on four other bills before the Committee: the Certificate of Stillbirth Amendment Act, the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act, the Opioid Labeling Amendment Act, and the SMA Screening Act. Dr. Kareff provided a medical perspective on all four bills. He expressed MSDC's support for the Certificate of Sillbirth Act and the Opioid Labeling bill. He shared some concerns on the Lyme disease bill, as it would mandate a scripted message providers and health facilities must give a patient after a Lyme disease test. He also expressed support for the SMA Screening Act but shared the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidance on screening for SMA.
MSDC is constantly testifying before government entities on health policy. If you would like to learn how you can be involved in MSDC's advocacy efforts, contact our office.