family practice issues and general life events

Posts tagged ‘CME’

Convention woes

There has been a delay from my posting, and I will blame it on being at a convention last week.  That sounds like a good excuse.  It is for the very minimum true.  This year, my husband (also a physician) has to take recertification exam to maintain his board certification in family practice.  Which is a process in the osteopathic world which includes a practical exam with manual medicine and a online computer exam about medical knowledge.  The manual medicine exam occurs only at conventions twice a year.

This year the spring convention falls during our kiddos spring break and is in Orlando.  A tax deductible trip to Disney World?  Well sign me up.  Well ok, the trip to Disney World itself is not deductible, but the airfare, hotel and some of the food do qualify as business expenses.  And the amount of time is not out of the realm of normal.  He tested on Tuesday and we arrived on Sunday.  The convention started on Thursday.  (well there were some extra hours on Wednesday, but that would have interfered with our day at the Magic Kingdom)

So this is where the woe comes in.  First of all, topics did not seem to be very interesting.  While I can understand one lecture of disasters- 5 seems like a little bit of overkill.  And sorry to tell you, I don’t care what HIPPA says, but if Armageddon hits tomorrow, I don’t give a damn about my electronic medical record system.  I will be taking the kids, and heading to some place safer.  And besides are we really buying this terrorism is coming, and the floods, tornados and hurricanes.  What the heck?  While there might be a legitimate risk, this overwhelming fear is the reason that a poor child with a broken leg in a wheelchair had to be patted down by security over the weekend.  If everything is high alert you will manage to make everything less.

Then apparently HIV takes center stage.  Again, I understand one lecture.  I have HIV patients, I don’t treat their HIV.  Why?  Because it is too complicated.  I talked to oncologists who treat CANCER who don’t want to treat HIV.  Why?  Because of the complexity, it needs someone who treats HIV and maybe little else.  As a family doctor, I need to know about treatments, side effects and diagnosis.  It is overkill to make it take such precedence at a family practice convention.  

And what actually made this all worse- seating.  Whoever decided how to arrange the rooms needs to be replaced.  Why for a lecture hall would you arrange tables in a circle.  First of all, it puts about 1/4 of the people facing away from you naturally, and additionally it also takes up more room, allowing for less to be in the room.  Either rectangle tables should have been used, or none

I was asked to leave during a lecture for sitting in a corner of the room with my boys.  We were not making any noise, but apparently we were a fire hazard.  We were not near the door, but merely by sitting on the floor in the back.  There were no seats available, despite being told there were seats in the front of the room.  However, I couldn’t see seats in the front, talk about rude weaving ones way through the seats to the front, for there maybe to be seats.  I don’t think that is good.

Anyway, if I am going to pay for a convention, pay for the travel and room it should have worthwhile lectures and have seating room.  Add to that parking at the hotel that was selected cost more than it cost at Disney World, the days we were there cost $14 a day to park.  While this is not cheap, it is still less than the $15 a day at the Gaylord Palms.  This is a nice hotel, but seriously?

Additionally, at 10 AM the coffee allowance and coke allowance for the day had been used on Thursday morning.  I understand trying to save money, but go to a cheaper hotel for the amenities and room- don’t try to be cheap on the coffee and drinks.  It really looks bad.  Paying that rate for the hotel (which I didn’t) is not easy for everyone.  Anyway, this convention was poorly planned or it seems like it.  It would discourage me from going next year, except that I have to recertify myself next year.  Unless the lectures are more interesting, I probably will consider not staying for the lectures.  And as of right now, my husband will be staying at home with the kids while I go and take my test.

Anyway this is my excuse for not being online and blogging for over a week.

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Good times at the OOA

This weekend was spent in Oklahoma City obtaining some Continuing Medical Education from the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association. While it might not sound like the best time in the world, it does lead to some good times with some great people. It is funny that when you first get out you don’t realize that some of your biggest supporters are other doctors. I am not sure this is true in other professions, but in this one it is in many ways.

I don’t know, but it might be that as an industry, physicians generally don’t want a monopoly on patients. It is unrealistic and often feels like you are doing neither you nor the patient a good service. Son you know you need other physicians. It might also be something about how as an industry we are facing more and more regulations by agencies run by people with less education and training and understanding of what consistutes standard of care.

Though it is not easy to reach this conclusion. When you first start out, especially solo, you could think the world is against you. It is only through time that your realize that you aren’t. Physicians (generally) are willing to talk to others about a variety of topics, EMRs, financial planning, setting up an office, as well as medical aspects. I think that is wonderful. But unless you attend some of these meetings, you would never know.

The meetings are great for education and credits, and that is their primary function, but the social aspect and support cannot be denied. You hear about everyone’s families, the good and the bad and it is nice to have a sympathetic ear. Then you also get asked how you are doing, and often if there is anything you need.

The biggest concern, I heard this weekend, is what can we do for you? This was both at the national and state level. And while I am good right now, maybe that is the message we should be giving new physicians, how can we help you? I don’t know how much advice, I can give some one new coming out of residency, but I could sure tell someone everything that I did wrong. And that may be just as valid as how to do it right.

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