Executive Director’s Message
Since becoming executive director of the Hawaii Medical Association, I have frequently been asked to summarize what HMA is and why it’s relevant. My simple response is that HMA exists to support physicians, with the belief that as we take care of our physicians, they will be able to provide better medical care for their patients and by consequence public health in Hawaii will improve. Without doubt the healthcare landscape has changed immeasurably over the past few decades, and with these changes, the role of physicians has changed. Physicians are now more than ever the leaders of a healthcare team, comprised of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, various medical technicians, psychologists, etc. And while it is true that the proportion of physicians practicing in small, independent, and solo practices has decreased, these physicians along with those practicing in larger medical groups face the same complexities of today’s healthcare landscape, along with higher stress and increased demands and expectations from patients, insurance companies, administrators, etc. Not surprisingly, many physicians report feeling disconnected from their communities, their profession, and one another personally, feeling more burned out and wondering whether their practice is sustainable. Consequently, medical societies like HMA, are paying more attention to physician health and wellness, needs which apply to both independent physicians and those who are members of larger medical groups. One of the reasons behind the soon-to-be-completed renovation of the HMA office is to provide a more welcoming environment for our members, both for formal educational events, and for more casual, social activities. Our younger members, along with longtime members, want opportunities to network, connect, mentor, and just enjoy the support of colleagues, without needing to perform. The future is bright for HMA because we are listening to our members, and changing accordingly.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!