CPM Summer 2018 - 6

daup h i n cm s .org

President's Message




uring an infamous 1973 Stockholm bank robbery gone awry, the would-be
thieves' hostages developed a counterintuitive affinity for their captors. Despite
the threats of violence that lasted many days, the rescued victims publicly
bonded with the robbers and refused to testify against them. Research has
since shown that this "Stockholm Syndrome" can develop among a small but consistent
number of kidnap victims.

Jaan Sidorov, MD
President, DCMS

If you're an
annoyed doctor
spending too
much time
blaming "them,"
read some of
these articles.
You'll feel better.

Yet, while the Stockholm Syndrome is a fascinating window into the functioning of the
human mind, no less fascinating is the more common development of lingering disdain for
persons in authority who also hold us psychologically "captive" with their rules, regulations
and decisions. While this is a natural reaction at first, it becomes counterintuitive when
"victims" continue to cultivate their grudges for prolonged periods of time. It's easy to
forget that rules can be repealed, regulations can be altered, decisions can be appealed
and finally, the root causes for the authority can be understood.
Physicians are not immune to this mirror image of the Stockholm Syndrome. Politicians,
regulators, policy-makers, administrators, insurers and bureaucrats have arguably created
a thicket of oversight that complicates the practice of medicine. It only goes from bad to
worse, however, when a few of us doctors become fixated on "them" and enter an endless
closed-loop of recriminations against an individual, or a group of individuals, who enforce
the rules or regulations.
This issue of Central PA Medicine magazine is a refreshing antidote. Dr. Hall rises to
make a solid and public case for altering newly adopted standards for the diagnosis of
gestational diabetes. Dr. Answine points out there is far more than meets to eye to the
superficial topic of "polypharmacy" that, in the right professional hands, does more good
than harm. Immunizations can be a contentious issue, but Dr. Jairath appeals directly to
our lay readers with a compelling message of support. Dr. Gaspare communicates to us
from the "dark side" about the rational basis for health insurance coverage decisions. And
finally, the other (and future Dr.) Answine reminds us that no aspect of medical practice
is immune from the benefits of an empathetic mind.
If you're an annoyed doctor spending too much time blaming "them," read some of
these articles. You'll feel better.
Coda: On June 27, the Pennsylvania Medical Society hosted a standing room only
Town Hall Meeting of community-based physicians who serve on the front lines of all
those rules, regulations and decisions described above. While the topic of the meeting
was the creation of a physician-led clinically integrated network, the tone of the meeting
was inspirational. Dozens of individuals representing over 150 practitioners across the
Susquehanna Valley were not interested in being victims, but in rolling up their sleeves
in the name of quality, efficiency, professionalism and, most of all, better care for their
patients. It was a cure for the common anti-Stockholm Syndrome.


Summer 2018 Central PA Medicine


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Summer 2018

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