#HersheyCME 2014 Wrap-up

by Mike Sevilla, MD

I had a fun weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania last weekend. I was at a conference put on by the great people of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP). Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the entire meeting, but I encourage you to check out their website for full coverage of a jam packed schedule of events.

On Friday, I attended an all day educational session having to do with the complicated topic of Asthma. This was a clinical topic module to help maintain my Board Certification through the American Board of Family Medicine.

On Saturday, I took part in what was called DOT Examiner Training, which was also an all day course. A lot of my patients require paperwork for their employer for what is called a "DOT Physical" or "CDL Physical." "DOT" stands for the US "Department of Transportation" and "CDL" stands for "Commercial Drivers License." Many of the people requiring these are truck drivers.

A little more than 2 months from now, May 21, 2014, to be exact, Medical Examiners (like me) who perform DOT/CDL physical exams need to be certified with the Federal Government, or they can no longer perform these exams. This is a huge change from previous, and many physicians are scrambling to get the required training and take the exam.

This PAFP course has been sold out for months, and it was a long day with lots of material to cover. Kudos to the presenters who did all the preparation for this course! Something that was unique to this DOT Training course was that in addition to the physician presenters, there was also a real truck and a representative of a trucking company at the sessions.

During our lunch break, we got to see some of the tasks that truck drivers perform. This really put things together for me in that I was able to appreciate some of the specific muscle groups that are used during something like getting into and out of a truck, climbing into and out of the back of the truck, and the repetitive muscle actions it takes to shift gears and turn the knobs in the cab.

Going through this course really made me appreciate the labor intensive work that these male and female drivers go through on a day-to-day basis. Thanks to PAFP for putting this course together and bringing the truck along for the course participants.

What follows below are pics from my camera from the meeting. They include the AAFP President Dr. Reid Blackwelder, many from the DOT course, and some from the approximate 300 mile trek across the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Enjoy!


Direct Primary Care Update: Feb 2014

by Mike Sevilla, MD

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet someone in person whom I've been a fan for a long time. Ryan Neuhofel, DO, MPH, is a Family Physician in Lawrence, Kansas. He is opened NeuCare Family Medicine two years ago using the model of patient care called "Direct Primary Care." In this model, they do not utilize traditional insurance, and patients pay a monthly subscription fee for their medical care.

In the interview above, Dr. Neu reflects on his two years in practice using this innovative model of patient care. One of the main themes of our chat is something that I've heard other Direct Care Physicians say as well. When these physicians open their practices, they spend a majority of their time making the case why Direct Care is a better model, and now the questions he gets from potential patients is more how Direct Care works. You'll hear that in this clip below from the first ever Direct Primary Care Summit a few months ago...

Something else has really struck me from talking with Dr. Neu last night, and talking with other Direct Primary Care physicians in the past. They are exceedingly happy about this career choice that they made. Yes, trying to convince patients and employers about a paradigm shift like this is very difficult. Yes, it is very challenging not only building a practice from scratch but also building it with an innovative model of care. But, these physicians are satisfied that they are really making a difference now, and this is the reason they went to medical school.

Finally, another physician I've known for a while celebrated an anniversary this week. Our pal Dr. Rob celebrated One Year after opening his Direct Primary Care practice which has the tagline "Old Fashioned Health Care Made New." It's been fun following his success. In the player below, you'll hear our interview a few months before he opened his practice. (You can also download the audio podcast here) Hopefully, I'll be able to do a follow-up interview to reflect upon the past year and see what he thinks about the future....

Family Practice Center of Salem visits The Banquet In Salem

by Mike Sevilla, MD

Kudos to the fabulous staff of the Family Practice Center of Salem who gave us the opportunity to participate in The Banquet in Salem which has been around for almost 10 years in the community and continues to serve hundreds of area residents with good food and good company.

There is a great description of The Banquet in this October 15, 2013 article from The Salem News. "Anyone wanting to stop in and have a good meal is welcome. There are no stipulations based on need or anything of that sort. It is void of any shame factors. It is not a stereotypical soup line replete with accompanying aspersions - however wrong - cast on those participating. It is akin to a social event, often removing loneliness out of the day for many. For some, it is even their day's highlight."

I've participated in The Banquet on a couple of other occasions, and I very much agree with this description. Not only is it a social event where some families and friends gather, but I have never seen people be more appreciative of the work that is done here and the food that is served. We saw patients from our practice there. Some saw friends there. And, the article is right, there are no shame factors at The Banquet.

Finally, this was a great way for the office to gather is a non-office setting, and still work as a team. The grind of day-to-day work, in whatever industry you are in, can really get to you sometimes. Yes, party settings like the Christmas party are fun times to get together with your co-workers. But, there is nothing like being in a situation to give back to your community with the team that you work with day in and day out. Kudos again to our great staff for giving me the opportunity to "Pay It Forward" to our Salem, Ohio community!  Enjoy the pics below...

Salem Regional Medical Center Bed Tower Dedication

by Mike Sevilla, MD

It was so much fun being part of today's Bed Tower Dedication for Salem Regional Medical Center. Because of my position on the hospital Board of Directors, I had a unique point of view close to the speeches and close to the great choir for the event.

Below are my personal photos from today's activities. With this new Bed Tower and the name change, I think this emphasizes us as an independent hospital, owned & operated by the local community, and not needing to answer to an out of town organization. I believe that today's events and next week's move-in solidifies the future of Salem Regional Medical Center. Enjoy the pics below!

Primary Care Advocacy in New Jersey

by Mike Sevilla, MD

The Executive Vice President of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians, our pal Ray Saputelli (please follow him on twitter), was interviewed yesterday on a bill in the New Jersey state legislature for a program that would reimburse up to $200,000 for Primary Care and Family Medicine physicians' schooling, over four years, for those who stay in the state.

In the interview above from NJ TV Online, Saputelli states that New Jersey is one of the least attractive states for medical students to stay in because of issues like lack of physician payment/reimbursement. Here's a quote from the interview...

I can’t tell you how many times I speak with medical students who are from New Jersey, who tell me that the situation here is just untenable to consider practicing primary care. When you look at what the environment is, both in terms of payment and lifestyle, in almost any other state in the nation, it’s very difficult

Our pal Ray put this on his Facebook page yesterday. Well done, my friend! We need everyone from the Family Medicine community and #FMRevolution out there on television, radio, print, the internet, and everywhere else telling the Family Medicine story!

Finally since this will probably be the last post before the holidays, I just wanted to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I've been 2014 strategic planning for the website and for my "social media brand," and I'm looking at some big plans next year. It's going to be very exciting. Hope you stay tuned to see what happens!

The HPV Vaccine (Non) Controversy

by Mike Sevilla, MD

"Why do we need Social Media in Medicine?" - This is the most common question I'm asked when I talk about social media. Well, THIS is the reason: Calling out hype and bad information.

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, the main topic of the Katie Couric show will be the "HPV Vaccine Controversy." You'll see the video preview above. Here is what is on the show website:

The HPV vaccine is considered a life-saving cancer preventer. But is it a potentially deadly dose for girls? Meet a mom who claims her daughter died after getting the HPV vaccine, and hear all sides of the HPV cancer controversy.

Now, you know what's going on here, right? It's well documented in the entertainment press that the ratings for the Katie show have been awful and there's been talk about canceling her show. Her show is so "successful" that just last week, it was announced that she's taken a new job with Yahoo as a news anchor. I mean, they'll give anyone an internet show. Heck, I'm an internet news anchor LOL.

If you're in any kind of medical field, I hope you make your social media voice be heard on Wednesday. Even if you're not in medicine, but you get mad at people who spread hype and bad information, I hope you make your social media voice be heard on Wednesday.

Now, don't misunderstand, my heart goes out to this mom who is going to share her story on the Katie show. It is a tragedy that her daughter passed away. However, making the link to the HPV vaccine, seems like a stretch to me. This mom has every right to share her story. But, we as a medical community also have every right to share our story.

Here are some facts from the Public Library of Science post about HPV Vaccine:

In addition here are some links from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control:

How do you fight emotion and hype, with facts and science. I challenge anyone who reads this post to use your social media voice to share the truth about vaccines. For grassroots clinicians like me, I challenge you to especially talk about vaccines on Wednesday with your patients to defuse the hype that this show may generate. The truth and the science are on our side. We just have to get the word out to the public, and most importantly, to our patients....