by Michael Lievens, MD —

Happy New Year, and thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as president of the MSSC for 2019.

The Medical Society has a long history of serving Sedgwick County in general and the physician community in particular. It has initiated programs such as Project Access, the Kansas Sports Concussion Partnership, Health ICT, and ProviDRs Care ñ just a few examples of the leadership this organization has demonstrated.

The MSSC is important to every one of us. It advocates for all of us in Topeka, and continuously strives to improve the practice of medicine in our community.

Our profession is changing rapidly. Many of these changes are, unfortunately, pushing us away from one another. Many of us donít even know or recognize other physicians in town.

I feel strongly that physicians must be the stalwarts in the health system, insisting on keeping the patient at the center. To do that, we must have some unity, organization and commitment. I believe the MSSC can, and should, be an important way for us to become (and stay) connected to one another.

I urge you to make attending the MSSC membership meetings a priority. I urge you to come and make an effort to get to know your fellow physicians. See their faces, learn their names, and listen to each other’s points of view.

You will be amazed at the talent and intelligence of our members. You will come away pleased that you showed up.

Some of us are stressed. Some of us are lonely and depressed. Others of us are energetic and thriving, full of ideas and optimism. Most of us are some combination of all the above.

We can and should learn from each other, and support each other. To do this, we must at least know each other. To this mission, our Feb. 19 meeting will be primarily social. It will be held in the gleaming new Cargill building in Old Town. Please come and sit with people you donít already know well. Chat with other physicians outside your age group, outside your specialty, outside your own group.

This year, MSSC also is initiating some small group dinner meetings, comprising six to 10 members. This is a good way to connect with people by sharing a meal with them. Please let us know if this interests you, so we can include you.

I urge you to make the MSSC a priority this year. Put events on your calendar now. Be more engaged. Be present. We all will benefit, both professionally and personally.