Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Doctor Day 2016 : A day well spent

As I write this, I’ve just returned home from Doctor Day 2016—a fantastic day at the State Capitol. I was privileged to spend the day with more than 300 other physicians and medical students advocating for our patients and our profession.

Now in its third year, Doctor Day 2016 was a spectacular, well-orchestrated event with involvement from 20 different physician organizations and partners. Interestingly, one of Doctor Day’s predecessors was the Society’s Advocacy Day, which began with about 80 physicians, so it’s really rewarding to see the evolution of Doctor Day as a partnership among so many physician groups.

This year’s participants were well prepared on our key issues over the course of the morning and had a good amount of time to interact with our colleagues to share things of interest of our profession. We had a nice lunch and additional briefings from specialty societies about issues of particular interest for them before heading to the Capitol to meet with our legislators.

The sight of over 300 physicians walking up Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. to the Capitol in white coats—or in some cases, winter coats—was something to behold, and I think is also evident from the group picture we took in the Rotunda before splitting off to meet with our legislators.

During our meetings with them, we discussed a number of issues, the details of which are well outlined in these issue papers, so I won’t go into a whole lot of detail. Just let me say that they were selected carefully so that we could have the greatest impact on the course of medicine in Wisconsin. I was impressed with our legislators’ willingness to listen and their respect for our profession and what we do.

After our meetings at the Capitol, we met at a local establishment to share stories and interact both with colleagues and a number of legislators, who joined us to talk more with physicians about issues important to us.

If you came to Doctor Day, thank you. Your presence really made a difference. If you weren’t able to make it, consider coming next year. Doctor Day 2017 is March 29, and we’d love to have an even bigger turnout! It’s a great way for all of us to have a positive impact on our patients and profession outside the exam room and to learn more about the legislative process.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Doctor Dexter, MD, a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, is the Wisconsin Medical Society’s chief medical officer. He also serves as vice chief medical officer, Northwest Wisconsin Region, for Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, is an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and he continues to practice part-time. He received his medical degree from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., and he completed his residency and fellowship at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.

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