Tuesday Rx: President's Corner, LACMA Digital Billboard, CAM, Virtual 150th Installation and More

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President’s Corner: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy One Patient at a Time

In my primary care practice this past week, I saw Mr. W, a 72-year-old male with diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. He is a retired law enforcement officer who also served in the military. After we addressed his hemoglobin A1c, his blood pressure, and his statin medication, I noticed that his immunization records did not show vaccinations for Covid-19. I asked him if he had received his Covid-19 vaccinations, or if the records were correct. Indeed, he had not received them, and what would have been a 1-minute conversation for any other vaccination (be it for tetanus, pneumonia, or shingles) turned into an additional 40-minute conversation over this vaccination.

I tried to be empathetic and avoid pronouncing judgment on Mr. W, but from the beginning, the conversation was cryptic and evasive. When I asked him if he had any concerns about getting vaccinated, he responded with statements such as “I think it’s a personal decision” and “I don’t trust the government”. Here is someone who has trusted me as his personal physician for close to 20 years, and now I had been lumped in with “the government”. Furthermore, everything we have ever talked about in Mr. W’s healthcare is a personal decision. We had talked about the most intimate physical concerns he had, so it was unclear why that statement needed to be made.

I followed up with explanations on how the vaccines work, the tremendous amount of safety data that has been gathered over the past year, and how effective the vaccines have been against serious disease even in the Delta surge. I let him know that it breaks my heart whenever I find out someone has died of Covid, because, at this point, it is a preventable, unnecessary death. I communicated to him that at this time, serious illness with Covid is primarily a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

We went through the myths one by one, debunking each and every one. In the end, there was no singular reason that he had not received the vaccine, just that he didn’t trust it. I responded, “Then please trust me – your doctor for 18 years, the same way you trusted me when I prescribed you metformin, lisinopril and atorvastatin. The same way you trusted me when I told you to get a colonoscopy and that biopsy. The same way you trusted me when I asked you to get shots for pneumonia and whooping cough. This is no different.” And lastly, I appealed to his heart of service – as a former police officer and Air Force serviceman, to “get this shot not just for yourself, but to help protect everyone around you as I hope everyone in our community gets the shot to protect you.”

Our long conversation ended with some hope as Mr. W stated, “I’ll think about it”. I respect every individual patient’s right to make their own decisions about taking a medication or a treatment or a therapy or a test. However, what I do find frustrating is the unwillingness of my patients to accept my medical opinion on the safety of the vaccinations because they have “heard things” on social media, talk radio, or TV shows from people who are not healthcare professionals – people who claim to know things because they “did their research.”

All of this disinformation only weakens physicians’ ability to care for our patients and all of the other medical problems they suffered from previous to the pandemic. Every minute spent on convincing a patient that they should get vaccinated is a minute we no longer have to talk about their obesity or smoking. But it is an important conversation that physicians need to have with our patients. It is tough work and expends much energy, but it is a conversation I’ve committed to having with all of my patients, one patient at a time. I strongly encourage you to do the same!

-Dr. Jeffery Lee, LACMA President

LACMA Launches Digital Billboard Campaign to Show Infection, Hospitalization & Death Rates

LACMA unveiled a 30-day digital billboard campaign on Labor Day to show daily COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death rates along several freeways including Highway 5 at Slausen Avenue, Highway 91 at Paramount Blvd. and Highway 405 at Lakewood Blvd. The boards rotate every 8 seconds, appear more than 1,200 times each day for a total of 8 million impressions and are in English and Spanish. The call to action lists county phone and web sites access to make appointments. The effort is in support of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health as it continues to reduce COVID-19 and Delta variant impacts on communities of color. Below are images of the boards.

COVID-19 Update, Post Labor Day Weekend

Over the last month, new daily coronavirus cases in California have been generally stable, hovering between 12,000 and 15,000 a day, according to the analysis. And as of Sunday, COVID-19 hospitalizations across California had fallen for five consecutive days — by 7% — from a summertime high.

But the improvements are not even. While hospitalizations for the disease caused by the coronavirus have flattened across the most populated areas of California, regions where vaccination rates are relatively low remain hard hit by the virus.

It’s still plausible the pandemic could worsen following the Labor Day holiday, which is why it remains essential that more people get vaccinated.

The wide return of students and staff to school, as well as gatherings and travel over the long weekend, could provide fertile ground for more transmission if people don’t take precautions to protect themselves.

Clear As Mud Podcast to Feature Dr. Jeffery Lee and 3 Physician CEOs

Dr. Jeffery Lee will be featured in an upcoming Clear as Mud podcast to share his perspective on physician wellness and the launch of an exciting, groundbreaking LACMA effort to support struggling practices. Later this month, we will feature three physicians who’ve launched highly successful healthcare technology companies:

  • Dr. George Fernaine, co-founder of Mocingbird which streamlines continuing medical education and simplifies ongoing credentialing.
  • Dr. John Korangy, co-built CareClix into a leading global telehealth solution.
  • Dr. Fisayu Ositelu founded Gentem which helps physicians run viable medical practices and remain independent by simplifying the reimbursement experience.

Join Us as We Celebrate a Historic Year!

We look forward to virtually celebrating our 150th Installation of President and Officers. For everyone's safety, we will stream the event live on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, via zoom at 7:15 pm PST.

Join us for the livestream here.

Click here to donate to Medical Student Scholarships.

Membership Appreciation

We will be celebrating LACMA’s 150th Anniversary with our members at the Huntington Library in the Rose Hills Garden Court on Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. We would love for you to join us!

Click here to RSVP or email Lisa La at

Virtual House of Delegates Update

HOD Update

The California Medical Association (CMA) Executive Committee and Board of Trustees reconvened to make the final decisions for how to structure the virtual session of the House.

For 2021, the House of Delegates meeting will be a one-day virtual session held on Saturday, October 23 (tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). This session will include some amount of delegate voting, a live debate between the candidates for the office of President-Elect as well as an election, Major Issue educational sessions, presentations, awards and interactive surveys.

To expand opportunities for member engagement, we will be holding virtual Major Issue townhalls with members of the Councils present for delegation members to offer testimony on the recommendations.


This year's HOD engagement opportunities are tentatively scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, September 23, 2021
  • House reports posted and open for testimony
  • First draft of the major issues reports posted and open for testimony
  • Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Major issue townhalls (date tentative; time TBD)
  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021
  • Revised reports posted online
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021

Deadline for House report extractions: CMA will provide an extraction form or online portal (Items not extracted will comprise the Consent Calendar, which the house will be able to adopt)

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Deadline for major issue recommendation extractions: CMA will provide an extraction form or online portal (Items not extracted will comprise the Consent Calendar, which the house will be able to adopt)


This year's HOD sessions are tentatively scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  • New delegate orientation webinar (6-7 p.m.)
  • Friday, October 22, 2021
  • Board of Trustees meeting (9 a.m. - 2 p.m.)
  • HOD virtual platform testing period (6-8 p.m.)
  • CMA recommends that delegations schedule caucus meetings (if needed) on Friday or otherwise prior to Saturday to ensure that members are prepared for the virtual session.
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021
  • House of Delegates session (Tentative: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
  • Board of Trustees organizational meeting (upon adjournment of the House)


The first draft of the Major Issues and other actionable reports will be posted 30 days prior to the House of Delegates, on September 23, and will be open for testimony through October 8.


As House of Delegates approaches, we are left to reflect on those members who are longer with us. If you would like to honor a CMA/LACMA member who passed away in the last year, please submit an “in memoriam” resolution to Jessica Arthur ( by September 17. We are happy to provide a sample template if you need assistance. Please also submit a high-res photo that can be shown as a part of the presentation.

Click here to learn more about the House of Delegates.

ACEs Online Wellness Engagement Groups - Tuesday Series

Join CMA's Free, Online Wellness Engagement Groups for Physicians Screening/Treating Patients with ACEs or Toxic Stress

The California Medical Association's (CMA) wellness program (CMA Wellness) is pleased to launch free, online wellness engagement groups for health care providers that conduct patient screenings for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Treating patients with multiple ACEs or toxic stress can potentially impact your personal wellness and increase feelings of burnout. CMA Wellness' engagement groups will support providers by offering subject matter experts, best practices and an open forum to share experiences, facilitated by trained, volunteer physicians.

Each monthly webinar is organized around a prevailing theme with a stakeholder co-host to provide a variety of perspectives with a general discussion and breakout rooms. Registration is required, and providers will be joining the Tuesday series for a 6-month duration.

Event Date: September 7, 2021 - December 14, 2021

Next Session: Tuesday, September 7, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Register Here

Virtual Grand Rounds: The Nocturnists and Variants vs Vaccines

Join CMA's Virtual Grand Rounds: The Nocturnists and Variants vs Vaccines Update on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. PT to 1:30 p.m. PT.

More than a year and a half into the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, physicians, NPs, PAs, nurses and many other caregivers in the healthcare system are tired. Just months ago, most of us began to feel like we could breathe again. But over the summer we have faced a resurgence with the Delta strain of COVID-19 that makes one begin to wonder when, and if, it will all end.

During this Virtual Grand Rounds we will hear from Dr Erica Pan, California’s State Epidemiologist, about the state of COVID-19 in California, efforts to keep the virus at bay, progress on vaccinations and the hope for keeping schools open this year.

We are also honored to hear from Emily Silverman, MD, the creator of The Nocturnists, a medical storytelling live show and podcast where healthcare workers can pause and examine their inner landscapes. The Nocturnists helps us examine the forces that drive burnout and moral distress, and in doing so provides hope that we can find ways to flourish in the face of the extreme stresses of medical practice in general, and practice in the setting of a pandemic in particular.

Date: September 14, 2021

Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Register Here


"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."

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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