Home»General»Monday Rx | September 24, 2018 | Physician Burnout, LACMA Updates, and Marijuana Usage in LA County

Monday Rx | September 24, 2018 | Physician Burnout, LACMA Updates, and Marijuana Usage in LA County

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Physician Burnout and the EHR Discussion

Burnout continues to be a top priority for us. Recent reports show that technology impacts surgeons and their time with patients and how physician fatigue is at historic highs for physicians.The fact that electronic health records distract primary care physicians and clinicians from making eye contact with patients or engaging them in conversation is a well-trodden realization, but less has been discussed about the technology’s impact on surgeons. According to a recent article from Healthcare Finance, it turns out, however, that implementing an EHR system at an orthopaedic clinic may have unanticipated effects on efficiency and productivity.Those, of course, include a temporary increase in labor costs and a lasting reduction in time spent interacting with patients, according to a new study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.EHR usability, in fact, is a major issue in all areas of healthcare. Late last month Pew Charitable Trusts published a report stating that EHRs can not only yield workflow challenges that do not improve patient safety but, even worse, the software can actually contribute to patient harm. At the very least EHR and other technologies have been shown to play a big role in physician burnout as they spend more time clicking than talking to patients — though there are a number of ways providers can innovate to combat  physician burnout, too, including deploying digital health tools. Read more.What are you experiencing? Please share your thoughts with me.

Weekly Updates

Last week, LACMA was pleased to join CMA at the State of Reform Health Policy Conference. There were many familiar faces, friends and partners of LACMA and notable speakers, includng Dr. Christina Ghaly, Interim Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. LACMA preferred partner, WestPac Wealth Partners sponsored the event, which had approximately 100 in attendance. See highlights from the conference here.

On Saturday, LACMA’s Women Physicians’ Action Committee hosted the 2nd Celebration of Women in Medicine Awards Luncheon. Dr. Laura Halpin received the rising star of physician leadership award, followed by Dr. Laurie Reynard, who was recognized for excellence in physician advocacy, and  Dr. Nina Yoshpe, who received the inspirational leadership in the practice of medicine award. Finally, Augustavia Haydel, Esq. from LA Care Health Plan received the extraordinary and inspirational achievement award, while Dr. C. Freeman, LACMA’s President, was recognized as a woman physician champion and trailblazer. We were thrilled to have Dr. Barbara L. McAneny, President of the AMA, join us as the Keynote Speaker. I would like to recognize and thank the sponsors and partners that joined us on Saturday: LA Care Health Plan, CAP, Wells Fargo, PatientPop, Community Family Care IPA, Monique Bryher, WestPac Wealth Partners and WorkWise Law. Thank you to those of you who joined us on Saturday.

When I talk about physician leadership and loyalty without ego I have to recognize Hector Flores, MD for his consistent display of mentoring, compassion and understanding. Today, I attended a panel discussion on “Transforming Healthcare in Diverse Communities” thanks to Dr. Flores’ invitation. I wanted to thank Richard Zaldivar, Executive Director of The Wall Las Memorias Project. Richard founded the organization in 1993 with a goal to construct an AIDS monument  to provide a place for people to remember loved ones. The panel discussed healthcare coverage, healthcare costs and healthcare access. I’m excited that LACMA is involved with thoughtful, purposeful organizations to impact patients and the wonderful, committed physicians who care for them.

Celebrating Success

I invite members to join me in congratulating Dr. Emil Avanes, Founder, Harmony Health MD, on the launch of his new practice venture, The IVy by HHMD. On October 18th, Dr. Avanes will open the doors to his new wellness therapy practice, offering IV infusions and injections to help patients with a variety of treatments focused on weight loss, vitality, and overall improved health.

Learn more about the new practice and launch by clicking here.

Congratulations, Dr. Avanes!

The Department of Public Health recently released a health brief, Recent Trends in Adult Use of Marijuana.

This report shows trends in self-reported marijuana use rates among adults in Los Angeles County ages 18 and older in the years leading up to the November 2016 passage of Proposition 64. This proposition led to the legalization of the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana for adults in California. Data from the LA County Health Survey years 2005, 2011, and 2015 were analyzed. Key findings in the recent edition of Rx For Prevention can be found here.

If you are interested in joining the conversation around the latest cannabis research and the emerging cannabis industry in California, we invite you to join the California Cannabis Forum on October 17-18 at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Interested members can email carol@lacmanet.org to reserve tickets.

Additionally, if you are interested in receiving important updates, news and articles, like the report on marijuana usage above, from the LA County Department of Public Health, please subscribe to the Rx for Prevention, their online publication for clinicians. There are 6 issues a year.

2018 House of Delegates

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) consists of nearly 500 delegates elected by members of component medical societies, specialty societies, and CMA sections and forums, representing virtually every mode of practice and region of the state.

CMA’s House of Delegates convenes annually to debate on the most important issues affecting members, the Association, and the practice of medicine. Actionable reports on those topics are presented and debated, and educational speakers are often invited to provide additional insight.

The 147th Annual Session of the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) will convene October 13-14, 2018, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

HOD establishes broad policy on current major issues that have been determined by the Committee of Delegation Chairs, Speakers and the CMA Board of Trustees to be the most important issues affecting members, the Association and the practice of medicine.

Major Issues Reports are now available for download and comment:

The first version of the Major Issues is open for feedback and advanced submission of amendments for Council consideration. Reports will be open for feedback until September 26th. The appropriate Councils will review testimony and any suggested amendments in order to consider the incorporation of your feedback into a revised report, to be posted on October 2.

Members, please share you comments so that LACMA’s delegates can properly represent your voice and opinion on issues affecting healthcare in our local communities.

Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”



CME Programs


WHEN: October 23, 2018
WHERE: Argyros Auditorium, City of Hope
1500 E. Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010

TIME: 8:00 AM -4:00 PM

Click here for more information and click here to register

This program will bridge the gap of current practice to include recent developments in disease classification, molecular biology, diagnostic algorithms, testing modalities and therapeutic advances.


WHEN: November 8 to 10, 2018
WHERE: The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel
21100 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Click here for more information.

Join experts for this exclusive interactive conference. This is a unique opportunity for up-close learning and discussion with experts in the treatment of neoplastic hematopathology.


WHEN: March 21 to 23, 2019
WHERE: Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas
3752 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Click here for more information.

This two-and-a-half-day symposium has been designed by experts in the field of hematologic malignancies and affords the conference attendee specialized educational tracks for both physicians and nurses, providing an opportunity to learn about the most recent advances in the treatment of bone marrow transplant, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia.

For questions contact: cme@coh.org or 626-218-5622.

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