As some of you have heard, I was invited to represent the State of Ohio in the Rose Garden at The White House on October 5, 2009.
The event was an address by President Barack Obama, letting the country know the extent of physician support for reform and calling on all doctors to let everyone know the historic extent to which this support has reached. As of now, for example, the AMA has endorsed reform for the first time in its history, 525,000 out of
700,000 doctors belong to such organizations that have endorsed reform, and the New England Journal of Medicine has published data that show about 75% of US physicians when polled individually support reform.
It was a singular honor to represent Ohio doctors in the Rose Garden and a thrilling
moment in my life. After clearing White House security, we were greeted with the
beautiful music of the Marine Corps brass band, in full dress uniform.
Soon afterwards, we were escorted along the Southern entrance of The White
House, into the Rose Garden. I was able to sit in the second row, near the center
aisle, about 15 feet from the President.
As I watched President Obama come out of the Oval Office and then address us
directly, and via the cameras surrounding us, the nation, I was moved by his
evident awareness of the suffering our current health care system causes-
both physically and financially.
I also noted that a surprising proportion of the 50 doctors representing the
country were practicing physicians, from practices similar to Advanced
Pediatrics- privately owned, often small 2-3 doctor offices. They represented not
only pediatrics and family practice, but a wide array of specialties as well. None
were chosen for their titles or positions in an organization.
And that is why I write this posting as a thank you note. Not everyone agrees
with the current health care proposals, almost no one supports every provision
in them, but a very broad agreement has emerged that something needs to be done.
So my thank you, is for your trust in myself, Dr. Hertzer, and Kelley. We are daily
reminded of the critically valuable nature of that trust, and the importance of our
response to it. This is the center of what medical care is all about, and it was
physicians whose careers are centered on this trusting provision of care who were
chosen to represent their states. And so thank you, for it was your trust that led
to my opportunity to be there.
And of course, all the more importantly, thank you once again for your trust which
allows us to try to practice the type of medicine that will truly be responsive to
your very real concerns and needs, and will hopefully make a real difference in
your children's lives.
Dr. Arthur Lavin
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