CTS Position Statement on the November 3rd Election: October 2020 Ordinarily, the 2020 elections would have stood out simply due to the pivotal decisions that we face as individuals and healthcare professionals as we look towards the policies and politicians that will represent us and shape our lives, communities, and practices. The mere existence of the Afforda- ble Care Act, with hotly debated topics including reimbursement for healthcare providers, the tax- payer and individual cost and breadth of health insurance coverage, and the ever increasing bur- den of EMR would have been ample cause for potent discussions involving clinicians, patients and politicians. Statewide, discussions about healthcare benefits for gig economy workers, tighter regu- lations on dialysis centers, and taxes on business property also result in vigorous debates pertinent to our professional expertise. From a social policy standpoint, how the pillars of institutional racism are carried forward, or systematically dismantled, by the people we elect and measures we support directly affects the healthcare disparities that we see in our practices every day. (1)
This past month, CTS accomplished something that many would consider challenging. While it may not be equivalent to going to the moon, there were moments before and during CTS’s first virtual 2020 Annual Southern California Conference that made it feel like we were voyaging to the moon.
"To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unpre- pared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour." ― Sir Winston Churchill
They sat stiffly on the chair, eyes slightly narrowed. Lips pursed. They were there to see a doctor, but skeptical of “Western” medicine. On more than 10 herbs and supplements but not wanting any “unnatural” chemicals. Sensing the hostility, I take a few deep breaths, acknowledging the impatient de- fensiveness beginning to rise in me, finding compassion for their fears as I prepare to engage in the del- icate dance of therapeutic decision making at the end of which I will hopefully have gained their trust and persuaded them to accept me as a partner in restoring them to better health. Sometimes, it’s a mat- ter of convincing them that my “evidence” is better than theirs, that I am a better doctor than Google. More often, it means making them feel like I care about them, really, truly, deeply and that I have their best interests at heart.
Once again, our society is faced with yet another crisis. As we hear and watch the news, we can’t help but feel that more must be done for black Americans. While violent protests and looters have tainted the pure intentions of the many crying for change, the fundamental drive to identify and eliminate racism must not be derailed.