A Message from the SMA President - Southern Medical Association

April 13, 2020

A Message from the SMA President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this letter finds you well. This has undoubtedly been one of the hardest months most of us have faced both professionally and personally. Changes abound, wanted or otherwise.

As a Primary Care physician, I have seen my practice shift nearly entirely to video visits. I would be lying if I told you that contact with patients was not one of the top reasons for which I chose Family Medicine. I am sure many of you feel the same about your own choice. While I am thankful for the opportunity to use this technology to connect with and care for my patients, it certainly isn’t the same as an “in person” visit. Others still are seeing their practices empty and devoid of the revenue that keeps the doors open. These are difficult times.

Looking at the data models available, this may be reaching many of you during your area’s time of highest medical utilization due to COVID-19. For many, this is a scary time where infection seems all but eminent even with the most appropriate use of available PPE. I want to let you know that you are all in my prayers during this time. May your health, strength and innovation all be bolstered as strongly as possible.

Remember, you are not alone, even as isolating as this may sometimes feel. We will get through this as a community, together. Please utilize SMA Connect as a sounding board for clinical and personal issues. We are stronger together, and the SMA is the Family of Medicine. Lean on each other. Let us innovate together to find strength and solutions to move forward.

This is also an excellent opportunity for us to utilize our leverage as physicians in our own communities to encourage good behavior that might keep this curve flattened. Any of you who follow me on Facebook have seen my efforts. If you feel so called, I encourage you to do the same. If you are not much of a writer, find someone who posted something that speaks to you and share it. We can make a difference and our communities look to us for this sort of advice.

May God keep each of you, your colleagues, families and patients safe and strong through this. If there is anything I or the SMA can do to help, please reach out.

Philip Hartman, MD
President of the Southern Medical Association