Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 4

editor's comments

"The BCMS Pays it Forward -
With Your Help"
T
Lucy J. Cairns, MD
Editor

4

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www.berkscms.org

he priorities of the Berks County Medical Society are illustrated by the four points of
the compass symbol that is our logo. None of the compass points is more important, or
pervades more of our activities, than EDUCATION. This should come as no surprise,
since doctors engage in continuous self-education, and the teaching of patients about the nature of
their problems and treatment options is a crucial component of the daily practice of medicine. The
fact that the root of the word 'doctor' is from the Latin word that means 'to teach' (docere) shows
that education has been a central role of the profession from the beginning.
The education-centered activities of the BCMS include programs for the general public
(Health Talk Radio on WEEU and Health Talk TV on BCTV), an annual research poster contest
(with cash prizes) and lectures for physicians-in-training at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical
Center and the Reading Health System (Residents' Day and Memorial Lecture), and a paid
summer internship for a college student planning a career in health care (President's Internship).
Much of this magazine is devoted to articles designed to inform both physicians and the public on
a wide range of topics in health policy and health care.
Additional educational initiatives have been developed to address emerging needs. In early
2016, the BCMS spearheaded the formation of a county-wide task force to address the epidemic
of opioid abuse in our community, and one result was a very well-attended CME program whose
speakers included Pennsylvania's Physician General, Dr. Rachel Levine. A more recent educational
initiative originating with the leadership of the BCMS is our BCMS Physician Advocacy
Academy, which began September 15. This program offers free CME for attending seven
weekly 1-hour lectures designed to give physicians the specific knowledge and tools necessary for
becoming effective advocates for our profession and our patients in both state and federal political
spheres.
I personally am particularly proud of the programs which give a boost to the career aspirations
of young physicians and college students: the Residents' Day and Memorial Lecture and the
President's Internship. No member of the BCMS has attained professional success without copious
help from others, especially other physicians further along in their careers. And some of the most
important assistance is that which is freely given, when mentors or teachers go above and beyond
their job descriptions to smooth one's road.
When I was a 4th-year medical student applying to ophthalmology residency programs, two
of the programs at the very top of my list offered me interviews on the same date. Neither was
willing to accommodate my request for a different date, so I faced a very distressing dilemma
which I felt could significantly affect my future. The day I learned that I would have to choose
between the two programs, I ran into a faculty member who had served as preceptor for a research
project I had carried out, and he asked how I was doing. I told him of my dilemma, and just a
few days later I was notified that I had been offered a different interview date at one of the two
residency programs. That faculty member was Dr. Alfred Sommer, the Founding Director of the
Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology who went on to serve as Dean of the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health. Early in his career, Dr. Sommer had carried out extensive
research in Indonesia and elsewhere on the causes and effects of Vitamin A deficiency. In the


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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 5
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