Doctors Day 2015

Thank you to all who attended Doctor Day 2015 - Pictures Below!

On an unseasonably warm and sun-splashed Wednesday, March 11th, donning their signature white coats, more than 270 physicians walked to the Capitol in Madison to visit their state representatives and senators as a part of the second annual Doctor Day in Madison - a nearly 40% increase in the number of participants in just one year! Legislators, staff and other Capitol visitors alike remarked about the sheer number of physicians walking the halls last week - evidence of success toward a key goal of Doctor Day: raising the visibility of physicians in Wisconsin’s state political process.

Physicians_31115_2.jpgAmong the participants were nearly 20 Anesthesiologists, including residents from both MCW and the UW: Aimee Becker, Joseph Bernstein, Brent Boettcher, Rose Campise-Luther, Kate Cole, Lois Connolly, Christina Diaz, Gil Enriquez, David Ferron, Rafal Kopanczyk, Jay Mesrobian, Bridget Muldowney, Jim Nicholson, Robert Pearce, Andrew Schultz, Joe Strosin, Lana Volz and Liz Yun. Thank you to all!

Doctor Day 2015 began with issue briefings from Wisconsin Medical Society staff and WSA’s lobbyist, Eric Jensen interspersed with talks by three key Wisconsin political leaders: Governor Scott Walker; State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), Chair of the Senate Health Committee and Member of the Joint Finance Committee; and State Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-LaCrosse), Senate Minority Leader. All three politicians thanked physicians for their work, and while noting the number of physicians in attendance, each also stressed the importance of physicians playing a more active and visible role in Wisconsin politics.

“We believe the quality of health care in this state is a tremendous asset, not just to our quality of life but to economic development,” said Governor Walker. Noting that quality health care is a must for businesses looking to grow or come to Wisconsin, he added, “its a real premium... that’s why we want to continue to partner with you and the systems and organizations you represent."

Organized as a cross-specialty event, more than 20 organizations jointly participated in the advocacy day designed to strengthen the political voices of all physicians. Following a lunch-time presentation on legislative advocacy by Tim Hoven (former state assembly representative and current lobbyist for the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians) participants were again asked to discuss just a few issues briefed earlier in the morning during their legislative meetings:

  • Opposition to proposals (legislative and regulatory) being forwarded by a coalition of nursing groups to expand the scope of and create independent practice for advanced practice nurses (including CRNAs) in Wisconsin;
  • Opposition to creation of physician fee schedules for care provided to Worker’s Compensation patients (a bill stopped during the 2013-14 Session, but widely expected to return later this Session);
  • Support for a legislation to include Wisconsin in an Interstate Physician Licensing Compact currently being promoted by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board and the national Federation of State Medical Boards.

Wrapping up with a legislative reception at a Capitol-area restaurant, D’Lux, Doctor Day attendees mingled with legislators and staff in a more casual atmosphere, and debriefed the day with colleagues of all specialties. Once again, organizers called Doctor Day 2015 a “huge success."

Watch your email, or www.thewsa.org for information on Doctor Day 2016.

Sincerely,

Rose Campise Luther, MD, FAAP; WSA President

Eric Jensen, JD; WSA Lobbyist