Building for Better

Pg 2 - President's Report - David EshakWe serve on the frontlines of medicine every day and night. We know our patients, and we have a unique perspective on how to make care better. Healthcare is changing. Our roles as doctors are changing. This is our moment.

If we are not leading change, change will be dictated to us.

CIR is rich in history. With over 13,000 resident physicians, we are the nation’s premier organization of doctors-in-training. This year marked CIR’s first mail ballot national election, in which all members were eligible to vote for their national officers. I’m honored to be your president.

In this issue of Vitals, you’ll see inspiring examples of resident physicians leading the change to better our patients, hospitals, communities, nation, and careers. It’s time for us to take control of our broken healthcare system and finally deliver the care that we all went into medical school to deliver.

We are counting on CIR leaders to:
1. Better our patients: All across the country, CIR is providing support and creating programs that will make measurable improvements to patient safety and will find innovative ways to address population health. CIR provides a host of benefits, which include scholarship support to attend patient safety and QI conferences and direct support through our patient safety and quality improvement resources. We are making care safer.

2. Better our hospitals: The bargaining table has always been a rare place where residents can drive the agenda and find equal footing with executives in the C-Suite. That remains the case, and now residents are finding that we can advocate for our patients and ourselves and create value for the hospital at the same time. It has been inspiring for me to see residents going into negotiations and proposing the creation of housestaff safety councils and patient care funds, along with our traditional contract campaigns to preserve and improve salaries and benefits and protect our members. We are creating win-win solutions.

3. Better our communities: In several regions, CIR is bringing together women in medicine and physicians of color to counter the isolation and hierarchies that often strand us. We are building a more just culture.

4. Better our nation: In nearly every state, CIR is educating the public about the critical issues on the ballot this November. We’re speaking out to preserve funding for underprivileged patients who rely on the healthcare safety net in Alameda County and New Mexico. We’re aiming to make Massachusetts the third state in the country to guarantee its workers earned sick time. We’re opposing a trial lawyer-sponsored ballot in California that haphazardly mixes mandatory, randomized drug testing of physicians and mandatory use of a not-yet-functional database for prescribing pain medication, and would dramatically increase costs of medical malpractice lawsuits. We are advocating.

5. Better our careers: The QI Innovation Institute launched by the CIR Policy & Education Initiative will provide support to residents and faculty in in the development of groundbreaking curricula and programs that will not only make measurable improvements to care delivery, but will give you an unprecedented opportunity to learn and implement career enhancing skills to improve quality, costs, and outcomes. We’re rebuilding our broken healthcare system; we’re striving to deliver the promise of our profession.

We want you to remember why you went into medicine in the first place. We believe in better.

We build for better. Build with us. Send letters to the editors or general comments to vitals@cirseiu.org. Or contact me directly at deshak@cirseiu.org

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