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incoming President's message

Incoming President's Message
Delivered at Installation Brunch on March 17, 2019

Michael L. Haas, MD
President

Well folks, they're at it again....
While we were enjoying our families during the holiday season, the Civil Procedural Rules
Committee, an arm of the PA Supreme Court, decided to sneak in a recommendation to allow venue
shopping. This is a technique where medical liability attorneys seek a location most likely to result in
a payout irrespective of the merits of a case. This was a major issue all the way back in 2001, where
the Pennsylvania Medical Society including vocal efforts from Berks successfully and accurately made
the case that such venue shopping is dangerous for the citizens of Pennsylvania. It results in markedly
increased liability insurance premiums and furthermore an exodus of physicians from the state of
Pennsylvania, harming access to care.
Without a strong Medical Society, these efforts would go unchallenged. Thankfully, as most of
you in the room are aware, our Medical Society successfully blocked the current Venue Change effort.
Unfortunately, this block is temporary. A 1-year study will be undertaken. If we sit back and assume
that the battle is won, we will find ourselves on the wrong end again in 2020.
This is only 1 of a myriad of issues that we have lobbied for on behalf of physicians of Berks County
and the State of Pennsylvania. Strong county societies are the backbone of PA Med, and I am proud to
stand before you as the 170th President of the Berks County Medical Society, one of the most vibrant
County societies in the state.
I know I shouldn't feel very old. I've got a few more months in my 40s. But I can't help it. Not
only are my 2 professional colleagues in their 30s, but as you can see, your Executive Director TJ, your
new Treasurer Dr. Shah, President Elect Dr. Ventuzelo, and Chair of the Executive Council Dr. Sandel
are substantially younger than I am. Sorry Dr. Xu, you and I will be representing the Seniors among us!
There is no question that youth well represented in Society Leadership is one of the clearest indicators of
health of an organization.
I must point out the significant irony that I am President of an organization that has a Compass as its
logo. As my family will tell you, my sense of direction is seriously lacking. My car knows how to get to
work and home. Beyond that, all bets are off.
Over these last few years as more of my colleagues became aware of my involvement with medical
society leadership, I have been asked for the "elevator pitch." The typical question goes like this, "I have

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 2
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