FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF URGENT CARE MEDICINE (CUCM®)

Welcome to my first message as your newly-elected CUCM President. It is an honor to represent the interests of MD’s, DO’s, PA’s, and NP’s in Urgent Care Medicine. It was a pleasure meeting many of you at the UCA/CUCM Annual Convention in Las Vegas. The energy and enthusiasm of our members is inspiring and critical to our mission and continued success.

At the time I am writing this column, we are experiencing yet another surge of COVID-19 cases across the world. But infectious disease threats are not limited to COVID-19. While monkeypox may be making headlines, other significant threats exist. There is an ongoing avian influenza outbreak in the United States with human cases reported and confirmed. Seasonal influenza cases have not followed “seasonal” trends nor has RSV. Hepatitis of an as-yet-to-be-verified cause in children is in the news. Emerging diseases are becoming more of a concern worldwide.

Urgent Care providers have been at the forefront of these challenges. We are the providers that see patients without a primary care provider and those who are unable to be seen elsewhere. We console anxious patients, provide treatment, fight misinformation, and educate. Patients come to Urgent Care centers because they know we will always be there. But we are tired. Burnout is real. In our efforts to serve our patients and communities, we often forget about our own well-being, as well as that of our families and colleagues.

So how can the College help?

  • The College works closely with the Urgent Care Association and the Clinical Response Committee to monitor clinical issues pertinent to our industry and make timely recommendations to help Urgent Care providers deal with these challenging situations.

  • The College supports a Listserv that allows members to communicate with other members, including asking tough questions to gain perspective and obtain support in real time. This is monitored by CUCM and UCA to add a more national perspective when needed, with input from experts in the industry.

  • The College publishes this newsletter which includes best practice guidelines on common topics, interesting case reviews, pearls and tricks of the trade and more.

These activities help members sort through changing guidelines and conflicting information and perspectives, thereby keeping us informed and up to date.

For myself, during the pandemic it became ever important to stay in contact with colleagues on a regular basis. Hearing, “How are you doing?” from a colleague on the other side of the continent was therapeutic and meaningful. You realize no matter where you are practicing, whether it is Florida, New York, California, or Texas, we all face the same struggles and challenges. Despite our busy schedules, I encourage everyone not to forget to reach out to your friends and colleagues. This support will help us mentally and physically continue to provide high quality care to our patients. It will also provide a sense of well-being and combat the burnout and loneliness so many of us are feeling right now.

Lastly, I would like to personally acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Jasmeet Bhogal, MD and Tracey Davidoff, MD, FCUCM. Dr. Bhogal is the outgoing President and Dr. Davidoff is the outgoing Vice President of CUCM. Rest assured, neither are going anywhere and will continue to serve CUCM. Dr. Bhogal will continue to serve on the Board as the Immediate Past-President as well as the Chair of the Clinical Response Committee. Dr. Davidoff will continue to act as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of this newsletter, and the Chair of the Fellowship Committee.

Please join me in welcoming new board members: Patrick O’Malley, MD, Erin Topf Loo PA-C, and Michael Weinstock, MD, as well as the new officers: Vice President Chrysa Charno, PA-C, MBA, FCUCM and Treasurer Cesar Mora Jaramillo, MD FAAFP FCUCM. And finally, we are pleased to report that Seema Awatramani, MD, FCUCM and Timbo Taylor, MD will serve second terms on the Board.  The full board can be found here.

“We are Urgent Care clinicians inspiring excellence in patient care and advancing the specialty through education, advocacy, and research.” – College of Urgent Care Medicine mission statement

Please do not hesitate to contact me at cchao73@yahoo.com. We look forward to serving you.