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Washoe County Medical Society

In the Homestretch

As some of you know, I enjoy running, cycling and cross-country skiing. When I’m in a race, there is always a point near the end when you can decide to back off a bit and just cruise into the finish or crank it up a notch and sprint in. As we come into the end of the year, I can proudly report that the WCMS board and staff are definitely in the “crank it up” mode.

One of the biggest challenges we face is getting providers up to speed on NV 474, the new law that affects how physicians prescribe narcotics AND other controlled prescriptions! WCMS and NSMA are working with state licensing boards as well as the Nevada Dept. of Health and Human services to give our providers the tools the need to comply with the law and still provide our patients the care they need. Make sure to check your e-mails and the NSMA website for more updates and tools.

We’ve also decided to take on the task of revising the WCMS bylaws and board structure. In the past few years, we’ve had some committees that are doing some incredible work. We’re finding a few areas, however, where we need to change the structure, eliminate redundant committees and merge committees where possible. This includes creating a permanent membership committee that we hope will help propel membership.

Part of our changes includes bringing UNR Med students, residents and fellows on to the board and committee positions. As I write this, I’m flying out to a primary care research meeting. Many years ago, I was fortunate to serve on the board of this organization as a fellow and I’ve kept up my membership and involvement because of those early experiences.

With WCMS, we’re hoping by getting more  young physicians involved early, we’ll help to develop the next generation of leaders in organized medicine.

In addition, I’ve had opportunities to talk to some of the students and residents about many of the issues where politics meets medicine and have been impressed with their knowledge and dedication to their communities. It’s critical that we get their input, as many of these decisions will affect them for their entirety of their careers.

Finally, at the federal level, where healthcare is headed is still incredibly unclear. This obviously impacts us, our practices, and our hospitals. Most importantly, it may affect many of our patients. As you talk to your patients, if you hear stories good or bad about how federal changes is impacting their healthcare, please let us know so we can make sure to relay those messages to our federal legislators.