Coastal Virginia Medical Society

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The Coastal Virginia Medical Society was founded on January 17, 2023 out of a need to create a larger, more effective organization of physicians and surgeons that could provide a voice for better healthcare for the eastern part of Virginia. Representatives from the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, Chesapeake Medical Society and the newly reformed Virginia Beach Medical Society met on that date and agreed to merge our three societies into one. By doing so, we can provide greater input into decisions made locally as well as at the state level regarding healthcare issues that affect patients and providers alike. We can also pool our resources and provide many more services and benefits for our members.

Why We Need a Medical Society

There are lots of voices in Eastern Virginia, as there are in most areas, that shape the healthcare in the community. These voices pull patients and providers in one direction or another, in some ways good and in other ways not so good. There are government interests, administrative concerns of hospitals and medical groups, rules and regulations from the Board of Medicine, the Board of Pharmacy, insurance companies, hospital policies, nursing policies, nurse practitioners, physicians' assistants, optometrists, nursing facilities, and other medical providers, all of whom have different interests and concerns and want things to happen in their best interests. Physicians, based on our extensive training in patient care, should have a large voice in that, but we currently have very little input in making any significant healthcare decisions that affect our community. We have a lot of the stress and responsibility but little control and no support.

We need a strong supportive organization that will give us a chair at the table when decisions are made that affect the lives of our patients and our own lives as well. Sure, we have the AMA and the ACP, but they can't help us locally or individually. We thankfully still have the Medical Society of Virginia, but if we don't have good grass roots organizations, I suspect that will dwindle away as well.

Leadership

We need to re-establish ourselves as leaders in the health care community, making our concerns known when the systems prevent efficient and effective health care. 

We should be leading the community in promoting good health care, thinking up new and better ways to take care of people, solving health-related problems that affect all of us. We should be a strong voice at the table where health care decisions are made. Currently, we are not there at all. 

We know about medicine and about how to take care of patients, but we often don't speak up when new rules are written that interfere with that. If one of us speaks up, no one listens. If 800 physicians speak up, it might be effective.

Mission

We began these discussions near the end of last year and decided we needed to come up with a new focus and create new goals for the medical society, ones that would not only help redirect healthcare delivery and patient care, but also provide better support for its members. The following are the resolutions that we intend to achieve:

  • Establish professional advocacy.  Engage all local physicians of all specialties within the region to learn how a large organization can provide support to individuals as well as groups of physicians.
  • Establish professional collegiality. Enhance social camaraderie. Have some enjoyable, interesting outings sponsored by the CVMS, perhaps with a CME attached, at a museum or at the Aquarium for example.
  • Promote and assist in providing educational standards. Establish awards for keeping up on CME activities, or for publishing articles or books, or for even making presentations.  Sponsor a 2-3 day conference on medical CMEs that would be of interest to all specialties. Collaborate with EVMS and Old Dominion on educational activities. Provide assistance for students and residents.
  • Provide health care leadership in the community including promoting preventive care, better mental health care, improving access to physicians, requesting CMS to allow more beds in the area, and improving vaccinations. We could also help with physician recruiting, help reduce wait times to see specialists and get tests done, help to reduce the tremendous paperwork load, and improve pain management among other things.
  • Provide a cohesive voice regarding our collective concerns. Survey physicians to find out what their particular concerns are. Investigate those concerns and try to formulate solutions. Take some of these concerns to the state legislature if necessary.
  • Improve secure communications with each other with encrypted texting and emails. Provide an up to date website and newsletter to keep everyone informed about what's going on in health care locally and in the state. Offer suggestions and potential solutions to problems. Collect comments and ideas from the membership.
  • Provide more benefits for members. We intend to provide so many benefits and services for our members that it would actually become foolish not to be a member.
  • Help to establish and promote medical guidelines and standards of care, but avoid mandates that interfere with individualized sound medical judgement and patient-centered care.

Benefits of Membership

  • Discounts at recommended law firms, accounting firms, banks and financial institutions.
  • Discounts at local stores, shopping centers and medical supply companies.
  • Discounts at local events, symphonies, museums, shows.
  • Discounts at local restaurants.
  • Help with insurance.
  • Help in setting up a new practice.
  • Recruitment services.
  • Assistance finding a job or changing jobs.
  • Business resources and courses.
  • Billing services.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Advocacy support.
  • Psychological support / wellness.
  • Educational benefits, CMEs.
  • Dental discounts.
  • Risk management resources.
  • Education on current healthcare issues affecting the community.
  • Web and marketing resources.
  • IT Services.
  • Other.

Join Now!

We know there are many organizations out there requesting access to your hard-earned dollars. Some are more worthwhile than others. We know that previous dollars spent on local medical societies in eastern Virginia were not fruitful and those societies failed in the wake of the pandemic. So there may be some hesitation to spend more on this new Coastal Virginia Medical Society until you know for sure that it will not go by the wayside the same way the others did. Please be reassured that we are not going away. 

As volunteers who serve CVMS, we are dedicated to the persistence of a Society that can provide a voice for its members where they had no voice before. We are committed to providing an organization developed by and for healthcare professionals who understand what it takes to care for patients with compassion, empathy, art and science.

As medical professionals, we all provide a certain amount of charitable care, which comes as part of our calling to protect and care for our patients for which we all took an oath. And we all have a certain responsibility to society to protect and preserve a high quality of health care. As highly trained professionals who accept these responsibilities, we have a right to expect a decent income, the ability to practice independently if we so choose, the right to report and effect changes in healthcare systems that are not providing quality care at an affordable cost, and the right to be heard where healthcare decisions are being made. 

CVMS is the conduit through which these rights and privileges can be promoted and protected. This organization must continue if our profession is to maintain integrity, purpose, and value. If this fails, we become no more than pawns, or insignificant workers on an assembly line, measured only by the number of widgets we can produce. We cannot and will not let this happen. This is your profession, your calling, your career, your identity, your life. Do not treat it as less than that. 


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Newsletter

Stay up to date on issues and news you need to know. The CVMS Bulletin is published monthly and will list concerns that local physicians have expressed about healthcare in Coastal Virginia and how we can make it better. We will provide potential solutions and let you know what is happening behind the scenes to help solve these problems. Membership is not currently required to receive the newsletter.

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Roman Fasces: A symbol of strength and power due to the bundling of many into one united entity.

The Roman Fasces was a symbol of strength and power occurring as a result of many binding together. It was made of multiple elm or birchwood rods about 5 feet long tied together and sometimes including an axe. It was carried by attendants to soldiers or powerful figures in ancient Rome. For us, it symbolizes that we are stronger and more powerful if we bind together in supporting our goals.

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