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Monday Rx: Dr. Freeman for President-Elect, Physician Wellness with Dr. Lee and Upcoming Member Events

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In addition to the changing of the traditional seasons, this is also the time of change relative to CMA presidency. Each year, candidates share their vision, background and unique qualities and this year, LACMA past president Dr. C Freeman is running. I wanted to share a conversation with Dr. Freeman with members.

Q: Why are you running?

  • To control my blood pressure without using medicine
  • To stop the passing of rules, regulations and legislation that leaves me thinking, "Did anyone talk to the California Doctors First?"
  • The house of medicine is constantly under attack, and we need to unite and fight back
  • I am the candidate with the broadest skill set, known track record of economic and organizational success, and I am sick and tired of being sick and tired
  • The pandemic has exposed the flaws in the healthcare system and training
  • It is a critical time in healthcare and significant change is needed
  • I have documented expertise in change management as a healthcare leader
  • I have the business, clinical, and political skills to help CMA shape the future of medicine in CA

Q: Doctors face a tsunami of challenges: Regulatory, pandemic, economic, reimbursement, burnout etc. and you have said you want to “take back the reins of medicine.” Can you provide concrete examples of how your leadership will impact these areas?

  • Develop and implement strategy to thwart the efforts that devalue the work of physicians and instead hire cheap labor like nurses and physician assistants.
  • Too often physicians are the last to know about regulatory changes when California Physicians should be First in the discussion and always at the table
  • I plan to develop a running roster of physician experts who we can call upon to speak to any regulatory issues that are proposed, and to do so in the early development of legislation
  • At each opportunity, I plan to submit the name of a CMA doc be appointed to budget and health related committees and commissions throughout that state
  • Direct political funds at targeted interactions and selection of legislators who are for California Physicians First
  • Cultivate physician leaders to become elected officials
  • Physicians are being unfairly targeted as the cause of rising healthcare costs
  • I plan to develop a PR campaign that will expose to true drivers of healthcare costs, like insurance companies, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical corporations
  • Physicians are the only professionals, where after they perform a service, insurance companies refuse to pay what is billed or less than what the service is worth. Try that with your mechanic.
  • No one can keep doing that and keep their doors open to patients who need services
  • I propose that CMA act to obligate insurers who give a prior authorization to guarantee payment
  • I propose that CMA act to obligate insurers to provide compensation for administrative time
  • This campaign may take the form of litigation

Q: As you know most physicians don’t have MBAs and lack business acumen. Specifically, what will you do to help those who may not ask for help, but need strategic support the most to remain in operation?

  • Practice management review should be offered even if not needed, and it must be affordable, and possibly incentivized
  • Competence is essential to being a physician, asking for help suggests that we are not
  • Practice management services exist and LACMA partners with many of them, but there is a cost
  • Include financial, management, and leadership education to be incorporated into in general medical training curriculum

Q: ‘Resilient’ is a term to describe many organizations that have risen from the pandemic. How will you make organized medicine, more resilient with so much volatility?

  • We need a post pandemic Harvard Business Review type of assessment of
  • What practices survived, thrived, died, and why?
  • Identify those stabilizing forces and determine if replicable or transposable to other situations
  • Propose that when one is looking for solutions to volatility, turn to California Physicians First

Q: With the dismantling of MICRA at our doorstep, what will you bring to the conversation, the effort, the narrative, to nor only rally physicians, but voters, about this issue?

  • I visualize apocalyptic messaging that places trial lawyers as Doom/Dude and physicians as Heroes/Guy
  • The MICRA fight is the one circumstance where I believe nurses and doctors need to come together, because nurses in independent practice too will be affected
  • I have always believed that CMA needs to have an ongoing PR campaign that maintains the public's trust of physicians and their personal investment in keeping the doctor that knows them and their family
  • We also need to recognize there is a growing tech-oriented sector that could care less if they have a relationship with their doctor, as long as they get seen and treated by someone

Q: While medicine is constantly attacked, the notion of organized medicine being sustainable, viable, impactful, is real. What will you do to help CMA and medical societies across the state evolve, modernize, and attract new and more diverse members?

  • We have to maximize efficiency in all areas and use technology to help
  • The time demands will persist, we have to get better at managing our time
  • Encourage best practices such as starting and stopping meetings on time
  • Just as practice management assessment services are offered, CMA should offer societies a parallel service patterning best practices and focusing on:
  • Quality
  • Access
  • Finance and accounting services
  • Marketing modes and market penetration
  • Perceived return on investment by both member and nonmember
  • Programming that targets early career physicians
  • Engage YPS, RFS, and MSS to develop and participate in programming that caters to their interests

Q: What did the pandemic teach us (physicians) and, what did you learn about medicine and perhaps yourself during this historic time?

  • As physicians, we learned
  • Even with the best medicine, we may fail to heal when met with an unknown
  • We are bred to be invincible and have learned that we are not
  • We train and work sleep deprived and fatigued, and if so for an extended time, we become human with all associated limitations and frailties
  • We are trained to save lives, and sometimes no matter what we do or think we can do, we cannot
  • It is always better to work together as a team and there is a clear role for other disciplines on the team
  • For as much as physicians have public trust, there are forces that can significantly influence that trust and we need to identify and defeat those forces
  • Like in all professions, there are some bad actors, but when the bad actors are doctors, not only is it bad for society, but it is also bad for the profession, and we have an obligation to review those who act to do harm
  • As for myself, I learned
  1. I am very adaptable to change
  2. That other's bias is magnified when healthcare workers are overworked and resources are strained, resulting in disparate care
  3. If I die tomorrow the thing that mattered most was not the frequency or quality of my golf game, but that I experienced the love of my friends and family.

Physician Wellness Topic on Clear as Mud Podcast with Dr. Jeffery Lee

LACMA President Dr. Jeffery Lee shares his passion for physician wellness in the latest episode of Clear as Mud.

Listen here.

Healthcare for All Survey

In the coming weeks and months ahead, LACMA will host town halls, engage key groups such as the Health Equity Council, Public Health Council, Districts, Committees, CMA, and other subject matter experts to provide perspective on various options as we seek input from inside and outside the organization.

We'd like to hear you perspective on Healthcare for All, please take this 30-second survey here.

“The Relentless Pursuit of Equity”

Race Against Time Featuring Nicolla Ross, Vice President, American Heart Association is this Wednesday, October 13th from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm PST.

Register below or email Noemi Corona at

Register Here

150th Anniversary Celebration

Membership Appreciation Event is November 6th at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens! Register now to tour the LACMA Collection of medical artifacts, journals, and books, win a Four Seasons Retreat, receive your copy of the commemorative book and much more!

Click here to RSVP or email Noemi at

Hispanic Heritage Month Event

Join our partners at UCLA Health Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC) this Tuesday, October 12th at 12:00 pm and listen to the latest research on Latinos in the American Revolution, one of the many gifts provided by Hispanic Heritage to this country.

Learn about:

  • Spanish-speaking sailors and soldiers from San Juan, Santo Domingo, and La Habana.
  • Spanish-speaking soldiers from Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and California.
  • Spanish-speaking civilian support from Tucson, San Diego, San Gabriel and Los Angeles.

Register here.


"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Gustavo Friederichsen

Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles County Medical Association

“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”

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