Podcast: 10th anniversary of an unusual medical group

NPA logoThis week, the National Physician Alliance co-authored a new report, “Politics in the Exam Room: A Growing Threat.” The authors state that it “looks at state laws that intrude into exam rooms in the areas of toxic chemical exposures, women’s reproductive health, and gun violence prevention, jeopardizing the quality of medical care available to patients.”

These are not the kinds of issues all professional medical groups want to tackle, but it’s not unusual for this group to live in this arena.

The National Physicians Alliance holds its 10th anniversary conference in Washington, DC this coming weekend. The theme of the event is “Truth to Power: Alliance for the Public Good.”

This is not your standard professional medical organization.

Dr. Jean Silver-IsenstadtExecutive director Jean Silver-Isenstadt, MD, PhD, published an interesting historical wrap-up, “New Kid on the Block Turns Ten! The Brief, Remarkable History of the National Physicians Alliance.

NPA was founded, she writes, “with a mission to create research and education programs that promote health and foster active engagement of physicians with their communities to achieve high-quality, affordable health care for all. The National Physicians Alliance offers a professional home to physicians across medical specialties who share a commitment to professional integrity and health justice.”

Looking forward, she projects: “We have a vision for the next ten years: sparking a transformation of the medical profession that returns us to the core value of serving patients.”

NPA asked me to serve on its Board of Directors primarily, I believe, because of how our project frequently writes about conflicts of interest in health care – a key concern of NPA. I agreed to serve on the Board so that I could learn, and so that I could share what our project has learned with NPA membership. It doesn’t change anything about what we do or how we do it on this project. Two other members of our editorial team are active in NPA: Drs. Susan Molchan and James Rickert, president of the Society for Patient Centered Orthopedic Surgery. Some others we’ve written about on this site in the past who are active with NPA include Rosemary Gibson (senior advisor for The Hastings Center), Dr. John Santa (medical adviser, Consumer Reports), and consumer advocate Kim Witczak.

With that background, here is my interview with Jean Silver-Isenstadt.

Other links:

broken covenant screen opening shot


Brief musical excerpts used in this podcast episode came from:

  • “Birthday” by the Beatles
  • “J.J. Bop” by Andrew Hale
  • “Theme for Emmio Morricone” by Murder by Death
  • “The Power” by SNAP!
  • “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” by Ilene Woods

Thanks to Cristeta Boarini for editing this podcast.

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