This week we break from our normal format to have a discussion with doctors Kimberly Jackson and Marion Mass regarding the genesis of National Physicians’ Week..
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Dr. Kimberly Funches Jackson is the founder of Physicians Working Together and pioneer of National Physicians Week. Throughout her career as a board-certified physician, “Dr. J.” has dedicated her life to the care of others. She’s the medical director and co-owner of her Family Medicine & Pediatrics clinic and has provided medical care to adults and children for over a decade. Her commitment to the well-being of the community extends beyond her practice. Dr. J is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority maintains the social responsibility of Dr. J is an active member in her church and she’s also an active board member for several community-based organizations.
Dr. Marion Mass is a practicing pediatrician who is also a physician advocate and healthcare activist. She is driven to take back medicine for patients and the medical profession. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a spotlight on dangerous deficiencies within the US healthcare industry. At the center of these deficiencies are Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which are healthcare intermediaries that increase costs and create drug and supply shortages. Although GPOs and PBMs don’t produce or distribute a single product or provide direct care to a single patient, they control nearly 90% of the pharmaceutical supply chain. These middlemen amass huge profits because they enjoy government-mandated safe harbor protections at the expense of physician practice needs, sound medical decision-making, and patient choice.
Connect with the doctors:
LinkedIn: Dr. Kimberly Jackson
LinkedIn: Marion Mass
Website: Practicing Physicians of America
Notable quotes from the interview:
Doc, you’re not alone. You know that you have persons that understand you, that get what you’re going through, that are there for you, and we can use our experiences together to make healthcare better.Dr. Jackson
we need just different ways to uplift physicians.Dr. Jackson
I feel as though I kind of woke up when my children were hitting the point where they could take care of their own their own needs, and I wondered what happened to medicine?Dr. Mass
I think that it was the confluence of me recognizing that medicine was in bad shape that we were being taken over and we didn’t even know why.Dr. Mass
I don’t think any of us would be surprised that it would be difficult to find a position anywhere that says. ‘Man, life is great and I just can’t imagine it being any better.’Dr. Mass
So doc, you’re not alone. We hear you, we support you, and we got to work on this relationship with each other, so we can also be the best we can for our patients and our communitiesDr. Jackson
Access the Show Transcript Here
Hello everyone and welcome to Prescription for Success. I’m Dr. Randy Cook, your host for the podcast, which is a production of MD Coaches, providing leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians.
To overcome burnout, transition your career, develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be, visit MD Coaches on the web at mymdcoaches.com because you’re not in this alone. [1:17] This week’s episode is set for release at the beginning of National Physicians Week, so we’ll depart from our usual format just a bit. I’ll be talking with two physicians who were responsible for the establishment of National Physicians Week in the U.S. [1:32] So, thank you so much for joining me today, and here’s my conversation with Dr. Marion Mass and Dr. Kimberly Jackson.
So this is a very special episode of Rx for Success today, which is actually being released during National Physicians Week, and today we’re going to get to talk to a couple of physicians who were responsible for the beginning of National Physicians Week, and a really incredible organization called Physicians Working Together.
So Dr. Kimberly Jackson in Phoenix City, Alabama, I want to welcome you back to Rx for Success.
Enjoyed our last conversation and really looking forward to today’s conversation.
Thank you. Honored to be here. And Dr. Marion Mass, who is a real veteran of Rx for Success.
I think you’ve been on at least three times, pediatrician in the suburban Philadelphia area. We’re just delighted to have you back.
So thanks for being here. Honored to be here with both of you.
And what we’re going to be talking about today, just coincidentally, this episode releases in the middle of National Physicians Week in the United States.
And these two very capable and dedicated physicians are largely responsible for making that happen. [2:59] And it’s my understanding that this actually started, I can hardly believe that Facebook came up with something as fabulous as this, but it’s my understanding that National Physicians Week, well, the organization Physicians Working Together came about as a result of a Facebook group.
So whoever wants to pick it up from there, please go ahead.
Awesome. So yes, like I said before, honored to be on the podcast and to share this story with those that may not know the origins of.
PwT and Natural Physicians Week but yes in June of 2015 and can’t believe when I say that it’s been that long, I had learned about some clinics that were starting in the area that patients were being seen but they weren’t really sure who was seeing them and it was one of those things where you talked about it with different doctors and you started realizing it just really wasn’t a. [3:50] Way for us to get together like we used to with the old physician lounge and things like that and then just the whole things that are happening in medicine it was more documentation required, more things where we felt like it may have been us versus them and us not being together. And then we have the loss of physician lives. I have a dear friend, a pediatrician that had unfortunately some years prior taken our life. And I felt like if we could have a place where we could come together and we could be unified and it could be separate from our specialty, our experience level, but we’re just letting people know, doc, you’re not alone. You know, that you have persons that understand you, that get what you’re going through, that are there for you. And we can use our experiences together to make health care better and just to let you know that you’re heard. [4:31] And when I was talking to several doctors and trying to get together on, you know, ways for us to meet, it came up, why don’t you try Facebook? Wasn’t the best social media savvy person. But I said, hey, why don’t I try that? Started it with three persons and ended up having thousands all over the world. As far as you work, I’m surprised that you even knew Facebook existed. Someone told me about it. So I take credit for that. Another physician was like, why don’t you try Facebook?
Shout out to Dr. Agarwal. So I ended up doing that and through that, I met several wonderful persons including Dr. Mary Mass. And it was my idea in the fall of June that it was speaking to Dr. Hollis-Ivory as well, found a physician mom group that we needed just different ways to uplift. [5:21] Physicians themselves, and her idea was uplifting women physicians. And so, we talked about the idea of National Women’s Physician Day, and then I talked about the idea of National Physicians Week, because I was like, we have Doctors’ Day, which is March 30th, but it had gotten so diluted.
Doctors ended up being… Everyone was a doctor, it seemed to be that day, right, Marion? I mean, you could be a nurse practitioner, you could be a PA. I mean, I felt like you could be just any person, and they were like, versus us just honoring doctors on this day, we’ll just kind kind of make it a soup of all letters and honor everyone.
And that to me defeated the purpose.
I think that physicians. [5:57] Just like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and even nurses themselves, needed to have that week. And it wasn’t even a week of, per se, glorifying physicians. It was really a way for us to connect with each other and connect with our patients.
Dr. Darrell Bock What a great idea. And I want to get into the weeds of that a little bit, if you will, Kim. So it sounds like this was very much something that that you inaugurated and it just blossomed, but can you give us some of the details of how that worked?
Did you just go to Facebook and say you wanted to create a group for physicians and they suddenly started piling in? Or how did it grow?
Yeah, so with Facebook, they have algorithms and things that you can do that you can start groups and you can say what your interests are about. [6:45] So ours truly has evolved to the three Cs, connection, collaboration, and caring.
And so when we started in June of 2015 and started a group and let, you know, let people know, hey, we’re out here for physicians working together. If you’re a physician or medical student, join us. It kind of organically spread. It was from first persons that knew me personally.
And then what would happen is the person that joined, they would know other physicians personally and say, hey, there’s this new positive group that’s talking about bringing us together and making positive change. And I mean, I would have to leave it to Marian to tell the story of how she heard about me because she was kind enough to reach out.
And we ended up connecting and we ended up going to D.C. together.
Yeah, and that was going to be my next connection, I mean, my next question.
I am curious, in its very beginnings, did the Facebook group tend to be in your sort of region of the Southeast, or did you start getting contacts from all over?
Amazingly enough, in the beginning, it was, say, local docs, right?
So I’m in Phoenix City, Alabama, Columbus, Georgia. people will expect that. And then there was a colleague of mine, Dr. Malone.
Thomas Malone is well known in our communities. He’s been an OB-GYN and just the Star Wars are just an awesome position.
And he had this I would say kind of minty, but he’s actually a physician his own right. Dr. Toll Elliott and. [8:04] I noticed that when he saw the connection between myself, dr Malone and that I’d started this group he alone in the first few weeks. I think invited 600 physicians to the group Wow, yes, and that’s quite a roll of it is, And so now, you know the way Facebook algorithm has changed It’s not, in my opinion, as simple as it used to be before.
It’s now we’re inundated with so many different groups, so many different titles.
Everybody can start it, you can do that.
But in the beginning when it was simpler and you had that just direct connection between a person that knew a person and they told them you could see that like kind of direct growth.
And so I definitely have to shout out to him for seeing the mission and the vision and believing and spread it to his colleagues.
And so when you have just one physician do something like that, you can just imagine how it expounds.
And of course, now we have, you know, we’re trying to get to 10,000 members.
And of course, we’re having some people that aren’t on Facebook.
So we’re trying to, you know, maximize our website as well. But that’s kind of that grassroots campaign that how it grew.
Yeah, and so Marianne, how did it catch your attention?
My goodness. Because you’re in a lot of things. How did you have time for Facebook? [9:14] You know, I feel like the same thing as Dr. Jackson, or if we’re all gonna do first name basis here, I’ll say Kimberly, and we should all, maybe we should all do that.
Is that all right with all of you? By all means. Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, no, so I feel as though, like I kind of woke up when my children were hitting the point where they could take care of their own, their own needs of making a sandwich and getting to school and such, or you know, there they were off of school.
And I felt that, I woke up and I felt like, what happened to medicine?
Wait, you know, like I’ve been busy being a mom and a doctor and and all of a sudden I woke up one day and what happened?
And I I think I came in to, Social media things like Facebook and I thought like well this is a at least a great place to collaborate and to discover other people and to socialize and Someone invited me to the group and I was watching and what I was really taken by. I think Kimberly always has a positive spin and, And I always tell her I think she’s one of the most gracious people that I’ve ever met.
And that’s true, 100% true. [10:27] But there’s that graciousness and the professionalism she provides to our profession are just invaluable.
And I think that it was the confluence of me recognizing that medicine was in bad shape, that we were being taken over and we didn’t even know why, that led me to participating in the group and honestly as as a participant in the group I would have opinions, I would, comment on things and I feel like it led me to becoming a writer if that makes sense you know. [10:59] Like so. Yeah it really does. Yeah and and then I it was like a takeoff of of writing but I think both of us together physicians working together right we recognize that our physician that our Our profession was in trouble and we recognized that there were many avenues to lifting up our profession, which had become stressed, tarnished, you know, like you can pick up the newspaper and you can read about all the bad things that physicians do and we’re out there trying to do the best.
Many of us who are practicing boots on the ground physicians, trying to do the best we can for our patients and there are so many obstructions.
It sounds like both of you were in a very similar place emotionally about the state of our profession.
I don’t think any of us would be surprised about that. It would be difficult to find a position anywhere that says, oh man, life is great and I just can’t imagine it being any better.
We’re all in the same space. We know what’s going on here. back to. [12:08] What ultimately got your attention? Were you hooked by a Facebook suggestion that you should check out this Facebook group or how did you actually get connected?
I honestly, I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember how we first started speaking personally, but I think overall I would say that in watching how Kimberly comports herself and handles herself as a physician, I felt like this was someone that truly lived by their Hippocratic oath.
So this is someone I wanna connect with.
So it was clearly more than just a Facebook ad. This was a connection that you felt with Kim from the outset.
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Doc2Doc lending has you covered. Visit www.Doc2DocLending.com to learn more. [14:12] Music. [14:19] I’m Rhonda Crowe, founder and CEO for MD Coaches. Here on Rx for Success, we interview a lot of, great medical professionals on how they grew their careers, how they overcame challenges, and how they handle day-to-day work. I really hope you’re getting a lot of great information, but if you’re looking for an answer to a specific problem, management or administration challenge, or if you’re feeling just a bit burnt out, like maybe you chose the wrong career, Well, then there’s a faster way to get the help you need. No, it’s not counseling. It’s coaching.
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Visit us at mymdcoaches.com to schedule your complimentary consultation. Again, Again, that’s MyMDCoaches.com, because you’re not in this alone. [15:20] We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment, but right now I want to tell you a little bit about Physician Outlook.
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Well, it really took off and has clearly been the nidus for a lot of good things that have, the NIDUS for a lot of good things that have happened for physicians since its beginning. [16:41] And I would imagine that physicians working together is one of the things that you have the most pride in? Who had that idea? Who came up with PWT?
That’s all you Kimberly. Yeah that was that was yeah idea of mine and um i’ll be honest faith is one of the things that’s important to me and literally when i was thinking of this group i was just like i don’t even know what to call it they’re like start a facebook group what do you call it what do you call it you know like getting what it seems so simplistic now and everybody says pwt and your physicians working together it rolls off your tongue but literally when i was starting and i was like what do you call this and i was like you know what sometimes simple is best and literally what we want to let people know is we are physicians working together. We hear, you know, it’s hard to corral them. It’s like, you know, herding cats. And we’re all in our, you know, big eyes and little knees and little u’s and our specialties. And this one’s more important, the inpatient versus the outpatient, the primary versus specialist. And I was like, bump all of that. I mean, the deal is at the end of the day, we all are here to take care of our patients, take care of our communities. And now we need to let each other know we want to help help take care of each other. So, Doc, you’re not alone. We’re here. We hear you. We support. [17:49] You. And we got to work on this relationship with each other so we can also be the best we can for our patients and our communities. And so, that was, I guess, placed on my heart.
I never anticipated or even imagined how far this would go. I was just this little doc in Alabama. And at that time, actually, I was in Georgia. So, that’s why I started in Georgia, a little doc in Georgia. And I moved to Alabama. That was like, you know, what What can I do to help prevent another loss of a pediatrician like Valerie?
What can I do to help another patient not feel like they’re not being heard?
And I said, let me try this and see, and see if there’s some people like me, and there were.
And I ended up meeting this firecracker Mary Mass, and so we took things to, you know, even other levels, so.
Did the organization, Physicians Working Together, do you all actually have an in-person meeting where lots of the members show up, or is it strictly a social media thing at this point? [18:48] I’m glad you asked that. So before the pandemic, before COVID-19, so we had the first National Physicians Week in March of 2016, and during that week, I actually got with some local vendors in the Columbus, Georgia area and we did a physician appreciation day. With the, physician appreciation day, which is one of the things I’m very excited about, it was an opportunity that we did for local physicians. They came in, we had different organizations that catered a meal, we gave out red carnations, which is the flower for Doctor’s Day.
We made sure there was no, you know, sell pitches or anything there.
Just come out, bring your significant other. We’re going to love on you. We’ll share.
And at that point, we had members of physicians working together, persons that were interested in it, and just doctors from the area. And it was amazing.
It was like, oh, you’re the person I always refer to. Or, oh, you’re the person I’ve heard your name. Or, oh, so this is you. And it was just one of those things where we just felt love.
Everybody loved it. I gave, we got great feedback. So we actually were doing like a physician Appreciation Dinner around National Musicians Week for the first three or so years, and we started increasing. So we did one, a couple in Columbus, Georgia, we did Phoenix City, Alabama, we did Atlanta, Georgia. And in 2020, when the pandemic hit, we were planning one in Houston, Texas. So we actually do generally try to meet in person. And then we’ll have other things. So we have events where we’ve had healthcare town halls, Marian and Dr. Mark Lopatin. Am I saying the this name right, Mary, Lopatin? [20:11] Yep, you betcha. That is correct. A recent guest on this podcast, I might add.
Awesome. Fascinating story. So yes, amazing guy. Like I said, just been so blessed to meet just wonderful physicians doing the thing that are taking care of themselves, their patients, and their communities.
And he and she came up with a wonderful idea to help do healthcare town halls.
And so this was something we were doing biannually, and we would meet with community members and just laypersons, and other physicians would come out, And we would just have, you know, these, a platform where patients can ask us questions and we can share, you know, why we love what we do and why we’re here for you.
So definitely that’s something we’re looking forward to as we, you know, hopefully get a little window of opportunity to get back to a semblance of normalcy with the pandemic seemingly being better controlled.
So short answer, long answer to your question, yes, we meet in person when we can, we love to meet in person and we have done it before.
What’s your approximation of the number of members, the number of… [21:12] Participants in PWT right now? I would say approximately 9,000. Wow, that’s a lot of growth in a relatively short period of time. You are very correct. And it actually could have gone more if we were, you know, docs are very busy. So one of the things I’ve learned along the way when we created our board and we became a non-profit is I probably should have had more layperson as board members. So we’re trying to revamp some things to get maybe some more community leaders and stuff involved because we felt like there could have been even more growth. But the growth that we had is amazing and it’s been just organic. It’s just basically not with like say membership drives or you know say some major magazine or a radio ad. It’s just kind of folks telling other folks about, this group and hey I think you should check it out and so we’re pretty excited and happy about that. [22:02] There’s nothing quite like word of mouth I always say and if you get a little amplification from social media, that’s okay as well. I have, I often have curiosity about things that don’t, that are not particularly important, but I, I think our audience would like to know. [22:20] How you go about getting some project recognized as an official block on the calendar. How did you get established as National Physician Week? So, beautiful story here. My thing was when I was first talking about, okay, we need to do something to honor physicians. We need to have a way to reconnect with our patients, to let them know that we’re there for them. And we also want to rebuild our society’s respect and appreciation for the individuals that devote their lives and made tremendous sacrifices to heal their patients. And the effort was to spread this message of positivity and like Mary has been saying before, mutual respect, where we’re bringing healthcare clinicians, physicians together, as well as patients, so we can work on this patient-physician relationship.
So, when we were thinking about this and thinking about the best ways to make this happen, it was great we made it on Facebook, it was great we kind of put it out there.
And my dear friend Marion introduced me to the National Day Calendar idea, and she can kind of tell you a little bit more about that, and reached out to the persons, and we submitted stuff.
And Marion, you can share your story on that, because it was amazing.
I didn’t even know this thing was available.
I’m not surprised that Marion Mass would have the inside story on the details.
Inside story, my fanny. I mean, I just like Google, crap, you know, like how come we’ve only got a day and like everyone else has a week? [23:45] And I mean, honestly, I think that, you know, the public perception of physicians is that like life is wonderful and we’re just all sitting around smoking cigars with each other and it’s just not like that, right?
And like, honestly, think about how many of us now, you know, just like Kimberly and I are doing, we’re doing this as moms, you know, like I I finished residency and you know pretty much started having children and then was raising children and like ignored all of the portion of what was happening to medicine until I woke up because I was so tired from being a mom, right? But whatever the case, just like I almost acted like a mom. I was like, well if we don’t have a week, why don’t we have a week? How do we get a week? And so I just started like, I hate to say it because physicians were always like complaining about people Googling, right?
I Googled, and I was like, oh, how hard is this? Look, there’s a way that we can turn this into a week.
We put in an application.
Look, you’ve got a great group. You’ve built this group, Kimberly, and why not, we submit an application.
I think we were at a point. There’s an organization somewhere that you apply to.
Yep, National Day Calendar.
So I said, hey, like I’m gonna, I was at a point where I had a little bit of time and I said, let’s, you know. [25:10] You’ve done all the legwork to build up this, you know, physicians working together, incredible amount of work over years.
So let’s do this. And then we turn this into an event that becomes the physicians working together event. [25:25] Instead of like, you know, physicians, like you say, we have National Doctors Day.
And actually, I do recall that it was really important, we were talking about the fact that we didn’t call it National Doctors Week, we called it National Physicians Week. [25:39] Because now there’s so many more forms of doctors, which is That’s fine. Everyone has the right to their doctorate to their education, but when you’re talking about a physician you’re talking about that group of people which go through a certain amount of training that happens after you get accepted into an accredited medical school and, It’s it’s a small number of people that are. [26:04] Physicians, medical physicians. So we decided we were going to apply for this and and we bounced the application back and forth and off it went and there you go, right? And here you are. Exactly. You know something that I want to bring up here and I’m gonna be interested to hear what the reaction is that this came, about through the efforts primarily of two women when we let the men come up with an organization to represent practice of medicine, we got the AMA.
Correct. But the women have given us what you have given us, and I think that that’s probably not an accident.
Would you all like to comment on that at all?
I mean, it’s just two completely different ways of approaching something.
The AMA was supposed to be an organization to quote, represent physicians. [27:01] And for them, what that meant was to get in bed with the lobbyists.
You two are talking about giving some thought to the heart and the soul of the practitioner.
Kimberly, I’ll let you start. I know, because I’m like, Randy’s trying to get me in trouble.
So, it’s got like several little potential minds in there.
So, first and foremost, I think healthcare, medicine itself, benefits from various viewpoints.
We know it statistically, we know it, you know, categorically, that if you have difference of opinions, whether it’s male, female, different ethnicities, religions, we all do better, right?
So, when you have a different perspective, sometimes that can just take things from being where it is and making it better.
So, I think that, you know, definitely the mantra of just, you know, the hard work and doc, you do it, you get it done, and you may have been all things to everyone, in a sense, kind of has stood the test of time, but had to be tweaked. [28:03] So, when we brought in more female physicians, more women physicians, Marion’s correct.
I mean, you know, of course, not to say, of course, men as husband and fathers weren’t working hard.
Obviously, they were, and there are some that we all work the same, you know, maybe it’s in different ways.
But when you have that different component brought in, and we know that, like I say, I have the statistics to back that up, as far as like some of the types of medicine that are practiced, some different ways that we go about it, some different challenges, some things that we have to do to balance things, we sometimes can have a different perspective. And one of the things we realize is, you know, yes, you have the powers that be the lobbyists, the insurance companies, those things that can, you know, maybe help and make some things better. We’ll put that. [28:44] In quotation marks. And you also have this relationship that you have to have with your patients and that you have to have with each other. And you know, I have several brothers And I know a lot of times, you know, when you get to the point where if there’s an issue, it may be a little macho-ness, and you may not want to be able to say, hey, we need help, or we need to be appreciated, we need to love on each other.
You know what I’m saying? So I think as women, some of those things we’re able to bring to the table, not to say that men can’t, but just traditionally speaking, that may have not been something that, may have been seen as a strength, if I’m making sense. [29:20] And so by us being able to be a part of the health care profession and having more women physicians and being able to talk to our brothers and sisters both in medicine and say, hey, you know what?
It’s not a sign of weakness if you’re saying I need help. It’s not a sign of weakness if you’re saying that enough is enough and something has to change.
And I do believe, you know, my brothers in medicine have been saying these things before, but I think it just took persons like ourselves that didn’t have any hesitation in a sense of, hey, it’s okay, you know, if I pray with my patients, it’s okay if I can say I don’t want another person to lose their life like my friend Valerie.
It’s okay if we can say we need to have some time set aside beyond what other people do to honor physicians.
And it’s not where we’re thinking better than each other or we’re trying to make it all about us because even in the end when we have this week and we’re trying to respect each other and appreciate each other, it still goes back to the patient because we realize that sometimes healers need healing too.
And in order for us to be the best physician we can be, we have to be healthy and well to be able to take care of the patients as well as each other.
So, you know, I think that it’s just different perspective and different experiences bring, beautiful and different results. So I think that’s where we’re coming from.
I love that. Anything to add, Marion? Oh, you know, look, it’s physicians, we’re working together.
You know, it’s funny, my son and I had a conversation today and he kind of commented upon how he He thinks that. [30:49] General, like I mean he’s not like saying everyone, but in general like most women tend to emphasize the social, right? You know like emphasize relationships. I kind of I like it that he saw that but he wasn’t saying that that was a bad thing or a good thing or that you know we need all of us don’t we? Right. You know we need all the strengths and I think that we’re at a certain point where the fact that that women are involved so heavily in medicine, and medicine is a nurturing relationship, it brings a lot to the table. [31:24] So I think that women and men can learn from each other with that, and that we all have to play a role in guiding forward, because healthcare is something that all of us need.
I think that says it very well, and I personally think that it has made a difference now that women are so much more involved in a profession that was, I hate to use the word overly, but it was dramatically dominated by men for centuries.
And the reality that women are in this space now and participating and becoming, or coming to a point where they have some effect on policy is truly a good thing for all of us.
Your son shows a great deal of wisdom, Marion, that he has picked up on that, and I suspect that he probably picked up some of that wisdom from you. [32:27] It’s all good, like, you know, I don’t know, like when we need direction, can you ask for directions?
I’m sorry. I want to make everyone laugh, you know, we all have to laugh at ourselves, right?
You know, like there’s things I’m not good at. Laughter is as good as medicine, it’s good stuff. [32:47] 100%. And speaking, Randy, of how we, you know, so we had the idea, so I had the idea for National Physicians Week, right?
So we did this Facebook group June 2015, and then we actually did a National Physicians Week before we went to National Day Calendar. So I wanted that to be clear that we actually celebrated here in Columbus, Georgia, as well as online in March of 2016.
And then when we went to National Day Calendar, we were kind of like, hey, we’ve already started celebrating this, but it’d be really cool if you all could honor this and put it on your calendar. And they approved that in December of 2016. [33:15] Our next step has been, you know, and I’ve been talking to several physicians about this as well. And I have just the most amazing public relations communication director, Jennifer Simpson, and she just recently worked on something to get it officially organized, I mean, officially recognized in Columbus, Georgia. And also, unbeknownst to me, Kimberly Francis Jackson, MDD, for the first day of Physicians, for National Physicians Week tomorrow. So I was like. [33:43] Extremely, you know, humbled and honored by that. But I love the idea of taking it city by city, and are even taking it to Congress and getting this officially put on, you know, the congressional calendar.
Well, we all realize the power of social media.
And so on one hand, when someone had recently asked me, you know, is this, you know, passed by Congress?
I’m like, they can rarely agree on now daylight saving time.
So much less to say, you know, Physicians Week, I said, we’ll get there at some point, I’m sure.
I think this is a good time to consider it after, you know, COVID-19 and people realizing the importance of our healthcare heroes, as they’re called, involving, of course, nurses, physicians, and you know, You or the healthcare team members. So that’s something we definitely want to work on at some point to maybe get that actual congressional approval in a sense or congressional calendar recognition.
But right now we’re super excited about the fact that National Day calendar did put it, improve it for there.
And that was definitely through the direct efforts of Mary and I have to give shout out to her husband because I know they both together helped us fund that process and I’m extremely in this overly, I know, over and away, I mean, you have to give kudos where kudos are given and the reality is they saw this little girl that was trying to make some things happen and, you know, wrong woman, but you get what I’m saying, and believed in me and believed in our mission and, you know, put their money where their mouth is.
And that’s one of the things that, in order for us to succeed, it’s one of those things that have to happen. [35:09] And that’s something that we talk to physicians about a lot as well, like we can’t just always say complain about things, we got to rule of our seeds, we got to make things and make change happen.
That’s something we both try to work hard to do and with things like National Physicians Week, honoring others that are doing the same. So that’s one of the things we have, the theme that we have even for this year. Last year was basically this is our shot. So this is our shot to kind of revamp the relationship, let people know, yes, the COVID shot vaccine is something you need to consider, but also our shot to reintroduce ourself to the community. And this year is we’re here for you in 22, so in 22 and beyond. And so I think that that’s one of the things that we really want to continue to express to each other and to our communities that physicians are here for you.
Well, Dr. Kimberly Jackson and Dr. Marion Mass, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to help us inaugurate National Physicians Week 2022 and giving us some more information about physicians working together. Before we go, I would like to give both of you an opportunity to tell us how people can find out more about both of these items, Physicians Working Together and National Physicians Week. And whoever jumps in first will have the honor. [36:24] Well, let me go ahead. Yeah, I got to give some more props to more people, Randy.
Oh, please. I want you to do that. Absolutely. I would be remiss not to definitely shout out as well, even though physicians are extremely busy, our board members that have been there for us.
Marian, of course, has helped us in the beginning when we were starting things off as a board member and actually has another wonderful organization he works with.
With our PPA physicians. Am I saying that right, Mary? Get me straight.
Practicing Physicians of America. Yep, PPA.
Exactly, absolutely. And then Dr. Marie-Jeanne Lassalla, she basically was one of the people that had started a group as well and discovered what we were doing for physicians working together and brought over everyone that was in her group to PWT.
So she was another physician, and I wanna say about 1,200 that she had, that she brought over and just believe in the mission, has been supporting it from the beginning when she got involved.
And then Dr. Christina Lane as well, coming on board and supporting us and actually helping with an organization, Howard Husband, the next med, open X med, and they help us sponsor a virtual physician led health conference in 2018.
So it’s just been multiple people around that have been helpful and we’re adding new people as we grow and we’re excited about it. We have Dr. Marlene Smith that’s been working with us with Physician Outlook and doing various projects and helping us with our medical student scholarships. [37:43] And so if anyone that’s been missed out, please chart it to my head and not to my heart.
Because it’s so many people that in order for this to work, we have to work together.
But I definitely wanted to make sure I let those persons know that I extremely appreciate them from the heart and just appreciate all they’ve done.
And people that have made donations, people that have given their time and effort, people that have told other people about the group, which you can join us on the Facebook group with Physicians Working Together. You just, Physicians Working Together, you can type that in, answer the questions.
It’s for physicians and medical students.
And then on our websites, it is Physicians Working Together, basically it’s thepwt.org, T-h-e-p-w-t.org and then also www.besttogether.org and it’s B-e-s-t-t-o-g-t-h-e-p-w-t.org.
And number two, G-E-T-H-E-R.org. And so one has kind of the main thing, thepwt.org, and thebesttogether.org is more of a blog and it shares information. It has our four medical students that we’ve been blessed to give scholarships for. So that’s one of the things I. [38:43] Tell people, support us. We’re a non-profit, the donations that you give, you can, you know, have for tax purposes, but you really can see the work that we’ve done. We have National Physicians Week, we have healthcare town halls, we have four medical students now, because those are future, as far as our future positions that we’ve been able to give scholarships to, and we’re getting ready to do, doing the contest for this one this year. So just super excited about it and love opportunities like this to share about it and love because working with persons like yourself, Randy, and definitely you, Marian, to help move the mission and the vision for PWT forward.
It’s an honor. And Marian, would you like to put in a plug for PPA?
Absolutely, you know, or even, you know, better than PPA, both PPA and PWT are part of a larger coalition. So like a coalition is a, you know, obviously a, collection of groups, you know, the free care organization has been looking at how do we reduce the costs of medicine for the patients and we’re patient and physician advocacy organizations. PWT is a part, PPA is a part. I think that’s one I’m bad. [39:49] That’s one of the places where we can all meet, right? And we need to connect with our patients.
So free to care, PWT, PPA.
And I love it that, as all of these various groups have formed, that you’re talking to two physicians, happen to be women, happen to be busy raising families that have continued to collaborate with each other and continue to lift the profession of medicine right through the downtimes, right through the pandemic. [40:19] Right, exactly. Haven’t we all been through something awful?
Let’s look for the positive in this.
So as we go into National Physicians Week, let’s lift the positive, the patient, the physician, how we work together, how we make decisions together.
And let’s think about thanking the physicians in your life that have made a difference, whether they were mentors, whether they were physicians for you, whether they were friends.
I hope patients can see that as a positive as well. Very well said, and I appreciate you bringing that up, and I really appreciate that you all mentioned Marlene Woosmith and Physician Outlook Magazine.
What an incredible publication that is, and so I want to give a shout out to them.
They’ve been a sponsor of our X4 success for a while now, and we certainly appreciate that.
And I will once again say how much I appreciate and how much I’m indebted to Dr. Marion Mass and Dr. Kimberly Funches-Jackson for sharing the story of National Physicians Week and all the wonderful things that you do.
Thank you both very much for being here.
An honor, as always. Kimberly, kudos to everything that you have done for our profession. [41:36] Thank you. listening to this. Happy National Physicians Week. Take care of yourself, love on yourself, show some love to another person, and just know that we have your back and we appreciate you. Thank you so much for joining us today.
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