What is a win for a medical society?

09/28/2018 3:25 PM | Test File Reames


Not that long ago, one of the most creative entrepreneurs I know asked me, "What is a win for Ada County Medical Society?"

It was an outcome driven question that challenges lifetime non-profit leaders like me. We tend to be all squishy on data-driven metrics and balk at having to prove our value to our constituents. Sitting around a campfire and singing "kumbaya" actually isn't a bad idea to us.

However, as I reflect on what we truly aim to accomplish and the type of leaders we tend to attract to the board, there is something to be said about campfires. Our value statement is "We Connect the Docs of Ada and Elmore Counties." While we do have a longer formal mission statement (that looks just about like every other county medical society's), relationships are at the heart of our activities and efforts.

This board has prioritized the building of collegial relationships in our programming and making lots of time for doctors to get to know each other. In fact, at our annual meeting in October, we will be recognizing one of our local heroes as the ACMS Physician of the Year, due in part to his gregarious nature of tending to other physicians and helping lead ACMS in this direction during his board tenure this decade. If you've been to any of our events, Dr. Kyle Palmer, a newly retired orthopedist, has undoubtedly shook your hand and made you feel welcome. 

While many associations keep scoreboards for membership totals, peer reviewed publication readers, legislative victories or even the more ethereal "member engagement," I personally am most gratified by when I see doctors connecting.

  • It's a win every time ACMS gets to introduce doctors to each other who might provide value in terms of referral patterns, expertise, or mentoring.
  • It's a win cutting a check to our contract counselors for sessions through the Physician Vitality Program.
  • It's a win for doctors to push aside their laptop and look into their patients’ eyes, even when they know it means pajama time documentation.
  • It’s a win for doctors to connect their hearts with their hands through a medical volunteer opportunity they took advantage of.
  • It’s a win after hearing a physician tell me they cut their medical school debt in half because of financial services we referred them to.
  • It’s a win watching a doctor put a hand on another’s shoulder at an event and ask how they’re doing… “No, this is a mental heath check. Really, how are you doing?”


If you are feeling disconnected, I encourage you to take advantage of the three upcoming events ACMS will have this fall: Legislative Night Update, the Annual Meeting/BBQ Dinner, and Winter Garden Aglow. And if big events aren't your thing, give me a call and we’ll go have breakfast, lunch or coffee together instead.


Graphic by Freepik

Director: Steven Reames, director@adamedicalsociety.org  (208) 336-2930
Membership Assistant: Jennifer Hawkins, jennifer@idmed.org (208) 344-7888
305 W Jefferson Street Ste 101, Boise ID 83702  FAX (208) 336-3294

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