By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, April 01, 2011I love when the spring winds start blowing. It puts me in an unmistakably optimistic mood. My mind can’t help but be energized by the many new beginnings. Even dreary tasks like picking up the many branches that lay strewn all over my yard from the winter’s storms fill me with promise — the promise that this is the year that my garden will cooperate and be prolific. So in general this is a fairly productive time of my year; all endeavors have an accompanying can-do song interwoven amongst them. Papers get written, projects get worked on, and even household chores get some attention. And as my practice is composed of many with either psoriasis or eczema, even my patient hours are filled with the notion that nature is working with us again.
As we all know, however, sometimes new undertakings aren’t the perfect answer. The Massachusetts brand of health care reform certainly heralded one such new beginning. When it first came into being it was the talk of all the pundits and politicians. Many of the scheduled upcoming changes to national health care reform were piloted there as well. Somehow though, no one seems to be talking about it any longer. It seemed to us that we ought to take another look to see how our fellow dermatologists in Massachusetts were faring. The review from those on the ground sounds pretty mixed to me with lots of questions still outstanding. See what you think after you read this month’s feature story about it.
Another story you will definitely want to read is about leadership. That is one of those things that we all talk about, but only sometimes implement. I found this an especially useful article. It reminds us about the importance of listening to those who work with us. So often even if we ask the right questions, we do not get the correct answers. Usually this occurs because we either didn’t listen or didn’t create the right environment to allow the answers to be given. We need to be reminded often that successful leadership results from successful communication.
The column that is debuting this month is the legal column. This month’s In Practice column deals with Medicare enrollment for ourselves, our associates, and those who work for us such as our allied health workers. Since going afoul of Medicare is a bad idea, you really do want to make sure that you take notice of the points that are raised.
And lastly, you must all promise me that you’ll read the feature article about the psoriasis guidelines. As one of the group who worked on these recommendations I hope that you’ve taken the time to read and digest them and have found them useful. We review some of the highlights of the various sections of the guidelines in the article. There may be questions in next month’s column, so beware!
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Enjoy your reading!
Abby S. VanVoorhees, MD