The face of medicine and medical practice has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. Gone are the days of needing hospital privileges to practise effectively. Gone are the days of knowing all your colleagues by sight even when passing one another in the hallways of the smaller community hospitals. Gone are the days, for the most part at least, of the family practitioner doing comprehensive care on his or her own patients in hospital and the community at large.
These painful facts may be explainable and even justified taking into account the number of walk-in clinics and women in medicine who are trying to balance lifestyle and family with the complexities of running a medical practice. The bottom line for a number of physicians is that they have lost valuable venues for collegiality, informal consultations, continuing medical education, and social interaction.
Medical staff meetings have evolved into obligatory scoldings from the local hospital hierarchy with no hope for any effective physician-driven policy changes. Where do physicians go to chew things over informally without the presence and surveillance of the medical superstructure?
Fortunately there is one thriving haven left for physicians to have social contact and continuing medical education without the perceived or real influence of hospital administrators, politically motivated medical organizations, and government bureaucrats.
The Minoru Medical Education Society (MMES) was incorporated under the Society Act of British Columbia in 2001. The sole function of the MMES and indeed its mission, is “doctors helping doctors through continuing medical education.”
This independent, physician-run society of 165 members (and climbing) produced 48 CME events in the Lower Mainland in 2007 as well as a 3-day workshop in the Interior. Attendance at the CME events ranged from 15 to as many as 89 participants, and included nurses.
Venues ranged from local restaurants, fishing lodges, and intermediate care facilities to the Council Chamber at the Richmond Hall. Refreshments and scrumptious meals accompanied all events. CME events were run on a strict time schedule and always finished before 9 p.m.
CME topics varied from the bread-and-butter cardiology, asthma, and COPD fare, to “How to prevent or survive an MSP billing audit.” The MMES produced as many as eight CME events per month during the busy CME season.
Membership in the MMES is restricted to physicians and costs $20 per year. The advantages of membership in the MMES include e-mail notification of meetings, inclusion in exclusive MMES events not published on the web site (www.minorumedical.com), and the right to vote at the AGM.
Membership, however, is not a requirement to attend any of the CME events produced by the MMES. Any CME session posted on the web site is open to all physicians; the courtesy of an RSVP is appreciated The MMES welcomes our retired medical alumni to join and continue to enrich the meetings with their presence.
The MMES is also active as a community partner in fund-raising. The MMES has put teams in the Relay for Life for 4 years and raised over $120000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Any physician wishing to become a member of the MMES can mail a cheque made out to the MMES to Dr Michael Myckatyn, c/o 101–7380 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC V6X 1A1. See you at the next meeting!
— Michael Myckatyn, MD
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