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President's Message

By Brenda Sue Houmard, MD, PhD | 2018 SCMS President

Dear Colleagues,

My thoughts have been turning to the topic of 'Medical Advocacy' of late. What does it mean to advocate? The Webster definition says 'any public action to support and recommend a cause, policy or practice.' It has been said that those advocacy efforts can vary from slapping a bumper sticker on your car to standing up and speaking on a topic in front of an audience of thousands.

As I listened to Dr. Brian Seppi talk at our recent Medical Advocacy Resolution Writing Workshop, the importance of this topic came to light. As he pointed out, medicine is one of only three original professions (law and ministry being the others). We, in the profession of medicine, have an obligation to enlighten and inform, as well as support and recommend practices that will allow our patients to lead healthier and happier lives. This is supported by our longstanding commitment as medical providers to 'first do no harm'.

It is via groupings of physicians that this obligation is often fulfilled. The American Medical Association and the Washington State Medical Association are but a few examples. We could fill this whole page with groups and organizations – especially when specialty societies are included. When we look locally, it is the mission of the Spokane County Medical Society to provide our members with the mechanism to have our voices heard. During the initial Medical Education Advocacy Workshop in April, we heard from leaders in our community as to how organized medicine can lead to better health for our communities. I think the focus to bring the next generation of physicians to the advocacy table is remarkable.

I freely admit that I haven't been intensely involved in organized medicine during much of my career. My involvement with SCMS has taught me that the beauty of belonging to an organization that can ‘serve as the guardian of community health and wellness while leading and promoting the professional practice of medicine' allows me to fulfill my desire to help our local community with their health concerns. I am pleased that the SCMS has medical advocacy as one of its pillars of focus this year. I hope you will join me in the SCMS medical advocacy push!

Picture of Brenda Sue Houmard, President of SCMS



  Brenda Houmard Signature


  Brenda Sue Houmard, MD, PhD
  2018 SCMS President


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