MSSNY-eNews: September 27, 2019 – Lean on Me

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

September 27, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 36



Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show

Bill Withers

Physician stress, burnout, abuse, moral injury – there are many names but one thing is true. It’s a thing. Many common pathways sometimes drive physicians over the edge – figuratively but all too often, literally. Suicide is not painless. That a professional with all that’s invested in a career of caring could get to that point of utter desperation is a tragedy of more than Shakespearean proportions.

Physician suicide is not a new development. That physicians run a higher risk of suicide than any other profession has been known since the 1800s. But as Mark Twain said about the weather, everybody talks about it but no one seems to do anything about it.  Of course, there are many “holes” in the Swiss cheese effect at play. Many moving parts clearly need to be addressed. Recent attention has been paid to wellness programs.

When an untoward event happens in one large Pediatric Oncology Department, the entire team gets together to discuss, commiserate, empathize with the caregivers. Other groups have social events, trying to restore the camaraderie of the old doctors’ lounge that seems to have disappeared. These efforts are clearly laudable, but they often can only take the edge off.

Physicians know that reaching out for help can come with a price – they can lose their hospital privileges and sometimes their career. While the safety of patients is at stake, the safety of the physician is also in jeopardy. Physician, heal thyself is unworkable. We need action.

I am happy to report that some help is on the way. But it will take effort. AMA (yes, I know) has a program that, in three states, has actually borne fruit. The Medical Society of the State of New York is about to come onboard with this program. You will be hearing more about these efforts in the coming weeks. But of course, then the real work begins – getting various groups to buy in.

Administrators must support the effort with more than a nodding of heads which in the past has only led to the “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Legislators and regulators must see their way clear to smoothing the road to get this done. Various specialty boards must examine the added stresses they themselves have placed on their members. Physicians must also buy in. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see a mounting butcher’s bill.

It’s time.

Once again, I give you Bill Withers.

Comments?; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

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MSSNY Supports Call to Ban Menthol-Flavored E-Cigarettes
The following statement from MSSNY president Art Fougner, MD was released to the press on September 26:

“The physician community in New York applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking steps to add menthol-flavored vape products to the emergency ban in New York, which took effect last week. We are hopeful that the regulations will be formally expanded when Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD convenes another emergency meeting of the Public Health and Health Planning Council, possibly as early as next week.

While flavored vaping products like “Cotton Candy” and “Captain Crunch” are obviously targeted to entice teens to vape, menthol-flavored vape products are equally alluring and should not be available to our youth.

As we attempt to stop this growing public health crisis in New York, we fully support the ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The health of our children is at stake.”

Cost of Employer-Based Family Health Coverage Hits Record High: $20,576
The cost of health insurance offered to workers through their employers is increasingly unaffordable, according to an annual report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The report, which included more than 2,000 interviews with nonfederal public and private firms, found annual premiums for employer-based family health insurance grew to $20,576 this year, surpassing $20,000 for the first time. Year over year, the cost of employer-sponsored family coverage is up 5 percent. On average, workers are paying $6,015 toward the cost of their coverage.

The average premium for family coverage has grown 22 percent over the past five years, according to KFF. Over the past decade, premiums have grown 54 percent. This growth has significantly outpaced growth in workers’ wages or inflation.
To view the full report, click here.

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FDA Commissioner Says Agency Should Have Taken Action On Vaping Sooner
The Wall Street Journal (9/25) reports FDA acting commissioner Ned Sharpless said the agency acted too slowly to address vaping. Sharpless’ comments follow reports of hundreds of cases of vaping-related lung injuries, including several deaths.

The Hill (9/25) reports Sharpless told members of the House, “In retrospect, the FDA should have acted sooner, we should have begun regulating these devices sooner. But we’re going to catch up.” Sharpless added that “the agency is working to finalize guidance that will force e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their flavored products for review,” and following that, “all current flavored e-cigarettes — except tobacco— will be removed from the market.”

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This Week: Nearly 300 New Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Disease
The CDC now reports 805 cases of confirmed or probable lung injury related to vaping, including e-cigarette use. This is an increase of 275 in the past week. Forty-six states have reported cases.

Some 38% of cases are in people aged 21 or younger. A total of 12 people in 10 states have died. CDC surveillance page for vaping-related lung illness

Appeals Court Orders Judge: Take New Look at Liver Donation Policy
Bloomberg Law (9/25) reports that the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit “ordered a district court judge to take a fresh look at whether to temporarily block the Administration’s new policy for distributing donated livers to patients waiting for transplants.” The appellate court “said Sept. 25 the district court must go back and look at whether the Health and Human Services secretary legally had to refer the new policy to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation and post it for public comment in the Federal Register before implementing it.” The new policy is currently on hold.


Research Looks Into Long-Term Effects of Hurricanes on Seniors with Diabetes
A study suggests that “long after the winds have died down and the flooding has subsided, huge hurricanes like Katrina may be shortening people’s lives, especially when it comes to seniors with chronic diseases like diabetes.”

Investigators “studying the short- and long-term effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita found that older individuals with diabetes who lived in areas impacted by the storms had a 40% higher risk of mortality in the month following the storms compared to elderly diabetics who lived in unaffected counties.” The findings were published in Diabetes Care.

Majority of Data Breaches Involve Information That Could Enable Identity Theft
Reuters (9/23) reports researchers found that “more than 70% of healthcare data breaches in the U.S. have involved sensitive demographic or financial information that could fuel identity theft.” The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

NY Society of Addiction Medicine Poster Contest
NYSAM (NY Society of Addiction Medicine) is once again proud to sponsor a competition for medical residents interested in addiction to submit a presentation addressing how addiction affects patients in their specialties. This is now our third year with this successful program. We have had excellent presentations the past two years, and would like to again encourage residents to submit a presentation. Submissions do not require original research, but should demonstrate thoughtful reflection, keen observation, and creativity about addiction and how you can address it through your specialty.

Please click here for competition details/rules. The deadline for submission is December 2, 2019. 

The prize is a chance to present at the 2020 NYSAM Annual Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Times Square on February 7-8, 2020. Two winning entries from across New York State will receive free transportation to the conference, a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza for one night, a $250 honorarium, and a plaque.


RSVP Now for Veterans Matters: PTSD & TBI At NY County Medical Society
MSSNY and the New York County Medical Society are proud to announce Veterans Matters: PTSD & TB in Veterans scheduled for October 10th 2019 at 5:30pm at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH).  It is suggested that people arrive early for the opportunity to sign-in and grab refreshments. Early arrivers will also have the opportunity to sit in on the brief meeting of the New York County Medical Society’s Public Health Committee.

Veterans Matters: PTSD & TBI in Veterans
Where:  MEETH 210 East 64th St., Manhattan, NY
When:   Thursday October 10, 2019 5:30-8:15pm

Faculty: Adolph Meyer, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identifying signs and symptoms of PTSD & TBI
  • Examining evidence-based treatment modalities
  • Exploring military culture and methods to overcome barriers to treatment.

RSVP to Lisa Joseph at (212) 684-46-98 or email 

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

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New Podcasts on Health Matters for Women
MSSNY proudly announces the addition of three new podcasts on Health Matters for Women to our podcast site here.  The podcasts offer a variety of timely and relevant topics from health topics that concern women to emergency preparedness to veteran’s matters and adult immunizations.  MSSNY’s latest podcast productions on Health Matters for Women are listed below.

Listen to Dr. Lisa Eng discuss Health Matters for Women: Endometriosis here.
Listen to Dr. Florence Shum discuss Health Matters for Women: Fibromyalgia here.
Listen to Dr. Florence Shum discuss Health matters for Women: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) here.



33rd Annual Conference of Medical Society Executives

Attendees gather at the 2019 Annual New York State County and Specialty Society Executives Conference in Hunter, New York. It is a tradition that enables executives from around the state to learn from and support each other in helping doctors to win the battles they face each day. MSSNY president Arthur Fougner, MD spoke to the group about MSSNY’s strategic initiatives, while MSSNY’s Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster recapped the 2019-2020 MSSNY priorities, including single payer. James Beckner, executive director of the Richmond Academy of Medicine in Virginia, spoke about the county’s award-winning experience in engaging early career physicians in society activities

Attendees gather at the 2019 Annual New York State County and Specialty Society Executives Conference in Hunter, New York this week. It is a tradition that enables executives from around the state to learn from and support each other in helping doctors to win the battles they face each day. MSSNY president Arthur Fougner, MD spoke to the group about MSSNY’s strategic initiatives, while MSSNY’s Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster recapped the 2019-2020 MSSNY priorities, including single payer. James Beckner, executive director of the Richmond Academy of Medicine in Virginia, spoke about the county’s award-winning experience in engaging early career physicians in society activities.



Shared NYC Medical Space *Prime Flatiron Location* 17th Street and 5th Ave
Fantastic offering for shared sublease. Perfect for physician, physical therapist, psychotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncture, massage therapist, etcCentral HVAC system /High ceiling / Waiting area / Full-time use of the room /24/7 access and security. Up to 4 rooms for rent (for treatment or consultation) in shared medical office at prime NYC location. Telephone and Internet ready. Perfect for any medical professional. Included are: * Large reception area, fully equipped *Shared common areas *All utilities –electric, water, heat and A/C $ 4500 per month Part-time rates available Available September 1, 2019 Contact Information:
Location: New York, NY, United States
17th Street and 5th Ave Main Lobby and Waiting Room

Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Fully Renovated Office Space for Part-Time Lease in Hauppauge
Available Tuesdays/Fridays, $450 half session, $750 full session. Elegant office space, beautiful waiting room with new stone and granite reception desk, custom molding, large windows, abundant natural light, TV, and refreshment counter.  Four new exam rooms and dictation room.  New stainless and granite kitchenette.  State-of-the-art network infrastructure meets HIPPA & PCI DSS compliance standards.  Digital X-ray room with PACS in each exam room available as an option.  Located in close proximity to LIE, Northern State Pkwy, and Vets Memorial Hwy. Contact us at (631) 486-8855;  Please see our listing

Office Rental 30 Central Park South
Two fully equipped exam, two certified operating, bathrooms and consultation room.  Shared secretarial and waiting rooms. Elegantly decorated, central a/c, hardwood floors. Next to Park Lane and Plaza hotels. $1250 for four days a month. Available full or part-time.

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers.

 With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up:


Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
The NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has great career opportunities for Clinical Physicians. You must have possession of a license and current registration to practice medicine in New York State, and have two years of post-licensure medical experience.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *(Additional $10,000 or $20,000). Benefits include comprehensive health insurance, NYS retirement system, deferred compensation plan, flexible spending plan, and paid time off.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                  Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Dutchess                 Fishkill and Green Haven Correctional Facilities (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                 Franklin and Upstate Correctional Facility (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                  Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to New York City)
Oneida                    Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Sullivan                   Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, casinos and entertainment)
Seneca*                  Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence           Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Washington             Great Meadow Correctional Facility (Between Vermont & the Green Mountains)
Westchester            Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)

Contact: or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.

View of a doctor's office waiting area View of a doctor's office lobby

View of a doctor's office


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail:  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F