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President's Message - June/July 2017

By John F. McCarthy, MD | SCMS President

A transformation in the medical society is starting to shape up and your SCMS Board would like you to be aware of this. The board has come to appreciate that the status quo
in terms of how the society operates needs to transition. We are in the midst of visioning with respect to this; we have heard from our past presidents and are reaching out to our
new physicians this month. At present, we are continuing with our current mission statement as being core to why we exist. We believe we play an important role in the community, though our role has morphed over the years. Historically, we transitioned from social convener and information exchanger, to credentialor, to more recently, physician voice of neutrality for local physicians while maintaining many other roles. This voice helps to focus our work across health systems, educational institutions, information technologies, legislative issues and prepare for an everchanging future.

As we address this issue of transition, we approach it with the understanding that we are different physicians than we were years ago. We interact with one another in ways that didn’t exist historically. We work differently, play differently and choose how we spend our leisure time differently. I don’t know about you, but I find myself attending to an increasingly busy schedule. Is there someone who can say they are not finding this to be the case? We have less time than ever before to attend meetings, go to work events, or associate with groups. This has been an intriguing transition for many of us, though our younger physicians have grown up in this world. We simply have a number of demands which are made on us that limit our time in some of the roles of advocacy which have existed historically. This begs the question, what role should the Spokane County Medical Society play in our lives, in our community? It is exciting to go through a visioning process with respect to this question and your board is commencing on that journey.

At this time, we are looking to downsize some of the infrastructure which we created over the years. Our needs are different in terms of what we are doing and how we serve others. Our community still has significant needs; Project Access continues to serve some of our patients who fall through the cracks. Just this week, a patient of mine in the service industry was able to get a needed imaging study at Inland Imaging because of this important program.

I believe we will stand strong if we hold to our mission, which is to “Serve as guardian of community health and wellness while leading and promoting the professional practice of medicine in our region.” As we look to reinvent ourselves for the future, it is a time of opportunity, a time of reflecting on our accomplishments and on our goals. This is an opportunity during which we will benefit from your engagement, ideas, and ultimately investment in this mission.

If you would like to review any of this, or help plan for our collective future, please feel free to get in a touch with me at or contact any of the other board members. Your voice will be appreciated and will shape the future of our profession locally and ultimately, it will help shape the health of our community. 

Picture of John McCarthy, MD, President of SCMS


John F. McCarthy, MD
SCMS President

Spokane County Medical Society
Ph: 509.325.5010 | Fax: 509.325.5409
708 North Argonne Road, Suite 5 | Spokane, WA 99212-2760