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The Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation's mission is to promote and advance health and function through education and research in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in order to provide quality patient care and promote a person’s quality of life and improve functional outcomes.
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Mark Rubenstein MD
Welcome to the new board members of the Florida Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. As we prepare to complete 2020, we can look back and realize that this year was anything but normal. We’ve had to learn how to examine patients without touching them, how to perform procedures and do testing while avoiding any respiratory contact, and how to cope with an invisible contagion that has “rocked our world.”
All forms of healthcare delivery systems have had to change, at least to some degree. Patients have deferred screening exams for fear of potential exposure to a deadly disease, and we will certainly see ramifications in our communities for these changes.
In an era where practice purchases have become commonplace, where mergers of large entities occur with troubling frequency, and where the physician-patient relationship is stressed to its limits, we also see challenges for membership organizations.
When physicians give up practice autonomy, there are often other unintended consequences. This includes apathy, and occasional this involves devaluation of principles or causes. In the State of Florida we have noted that several county medical associations are on the verge of folding due to limited membership.
Why does this occur? The most obvious reason is membership value. How many of you belong to five or more professional medical organizations? You spend thousands of dollars in yearly dues. When the renewal bill is received, how many of you think twice about re-joining? People join organizations because it fills a void, or it meets a need. Specialty organizations are popular since they provide intellectual stimulation, professional relationships, and social engagement. As a specialty organization, FSPMR struggles like many others with the challenge of membership recruitment and membership retention.
How do we grow? How can we sustain ourselves? For many organizations, the foundation may be meetings or educational opportunities. Larger entities like the AAPMR realize that they have to provide member opportunities year round, and not simply at an Annual Meeting that only a fraction of us may attend. In the Covid-era, that means even less opportunity for networking, on-site meetings, or social gatherings.
Our board will be meeting to assess member value. It is a struggle for all organizations. Yet it is imperative that we succeed. We NEED to have a VOICE. There is strength in numbers. Advocacy for our specialty and our practices is integral to our success. Even if you can’t be active in the organization, it is vital that we have a platform, that we have a voice, and that we represent our chosen field. If we elect not to, then our specialty itself may be in jeopardy.
We need to stay relevant in a digital world. The challenges are not simple. We have been adapting to telemedicine. It is time to adapt to the realities of maintaining a specialty organization.
We welcome your thoughts, value your input, and appreciate your involvement. We need you to stay engaged, to be supportive, and to help us be creative in defining our value. It is OUR future. Let’s control our own destiny, rather than be a simple cog in the wheel. I look forward to working with all of you to strengthen our specialty in the State of Florida.
Happy New Year, and may 2021 bring health, happiness, and success to all of you.
FSPM&R Presidents Message December 2020
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CALL FOR ARTICLES
FSPMR is putting out a call for authors to submit pertinent educational and informational articles which can be posted online. Articles will be posted in our quarterly newsletter and/or web site.