Going for the Gold

 By: Alexandra P. Silver Executive Director Clark County Medical Society

By: Alexandra P. Silver
Executive Director
Clark County Medical Society

When you were younger, did you ever dream of being an Olympic athlete? Do you remember of dreaming of going for the gold and wondering what it might be like to stand atop the podium, clenching gold hardware in your hand and seeing the American flag raise over-head as the National Anthem plays? I come from the generation where my Dorothy Hamill haircut rocked the playground and I believed in ‘miracles’. Fiercely. Growing up in suburban NJ, just outside NYC, the 1980 Olympics and that US hockey win loomed larger than life. And, while I was dreaming of being the next Dorothy Hamill, many of you were dreaming of being the next Jonas Salk or Elizabeth Blackwell.

I don’t even need to close my eyes and I can be immediately transported to my pediatrician Dr. Waldron’s office. It is etched in my mind. The waiting room smelled of Lysol, with a fish tank built into the wooden paneled wall. The magazine rack was filled with “Highlights” to read. I didn’t particularly like going to the doctor -- not because they weren’t nice, but because at that age when I went it was usually to get a shot. Ouch! The lollipop was a nice treat but did not take away the pain.

Now, the sting of going to the doctor’s office is different. As a mom of two, I often find my myself at a doctor’s office, and as the Executive Director of CCMS I always ask the physician if they are a member of CCMS. During these conversations, I have received a myriad of answers and I am pleased and proud to say a few of them have now joined our ranks. But, I wonder why not all doctors here in Clark County are not members of ours. Our team is working hard to spread the message of why it is so important for physicians to stand together to advocate for themselves and their patients. With many important issues facing Nevada physicians right now, it is imperative doctors have their voices heard. CCMS and NSMA are working specifically on behalf of doctors on issues like AB 474, the Cancer Registry, Reporting of Overdoes, or of course reimbursement rates. But in addition to our advocacy work we also have a political action committee called MedPAC, which you will be learning more about in the coming weeks. MedPAC is a forum for physicians and like-minded individuals to meet and interview candidates in elections here locally and statewide to determine who will receive the highly-sought after CCMS endorsement. Be sure to answer the call and join MedPAC – if you don’t like what is going on at the state legislature, this is the first step in ensuring your voices are heard. 

Another program I am hoping you will participate in is our Adult MiniMED Internship, March 12 through March 21. This program gives physicians the opportunity to volunteer one day or half a day with key community stakeholders -- business leaders, legislators, community advocates and allies and CCMS partners, and CCMS sponsors to go behind the curtain and see first-hand how all of these changes to modern medicine and the practice affects physicians, patients, and the quality of care. At the end of the program on March 21, we will host a recognition dinner at Chef Gustav Mahler’s Spiedini Ristorante at the JW Marriott in Summerlin for participants to share their insights. Please sign up to participate in this event to help us share the message of why it is important to protect physician’s rights and preserve their special and privileged relationship with their patients.

Perhaps while I was skating on Edgemont pond back in Montclair New Jersey or the at the arena exploring my dream of becoming the next Dorothy Hamill, you were already playing doctor wearing a white bath robe to serve as your coat and a fisher price stethoscope around your neck. Perhaps, dreams come true and miracles do happen. As Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympics Games once said, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” 
Together, we can improve the conditions in which you practice medicine here in our community. Please ask a friend or colleague to join us in our mission. We are more than discounts on insurance – we are your voice, your dreams, your purpose, and together we will achieve greatness.

Alexandra P. Silver is the Executive Director of the Clark County Medical Society and can be reached at Alexandra.Silver@clarkcountymedical.org or 702-739-9989