We've killed a few trees this month covering Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Modern Physician is not endorsing his presidential bid, but it behooves us to offer an explanation for giving one candidate this much coverage.
First, Dean is one of "our people"--a physician executive in that he is a physician and, as governor, was chief executive of Vermont from 1991 to 2002.
Second, at press time, he is among the leaders in the polls amid a crowded field of candidates to become the Democratic Party's nominee for president. The proposition of a physician executive in the White House impacting U.S. healthcare policy is intriguing.
So, in August, we sent Washington reporter Elizabeth Beckley on a four-day cross-country swing with the Dean campaign to get a good look at this physician leader.
We wanted to take our own measure of a man who already is being described, for better or for worse, as one of the most forceful personalities on the national political stage.
We wanted to sound him out on progress in the development of his healthcare policy since last winter when he visited our office for a roundtable discussion before he declared his candidacy. (See ModernPhysician.com for a full transcript.)
We wanted know whether he's changed his stance on providing federal assistance to promote faster deployment of healthcare information technology--in February, he said healthcare had enough money to do the job itself; and to flesh out details on his positions that are key to our readers, such as tort reform, physician reimbursement, patient safety and quality improvement.
We think Beckley's stories are timely and informative.
Call for excellence
Last year, we had a record number of nominees for our fifth annual Physician Executive Award of Excellence. We also presented our first Lifetime Achievement Award.
The awards are sponsored by the American College of Physician Executives, Modern Physician and Cerner Corp.
So, with a little fanfare, please, it's time to open this year's nominations for the pre-eminent awards for physician executives.
Heading our panel of judges again is ACPE President Scott Ransom, D.O, executive director of the Program for Healthcare Improvement and Leadership Development at the University of Michigan, and three past winners: Thomas Royer, M.D., president and CEO of Christus Health; Harris Berman, M.D., chairman, Department of Community Health, Tufts University Medical School; and Max Cohen, M.D., vice-president and CMO of Missouri Baptist Medical Center.
The deadline for nominations is Dec. 5. Forms are available on our Web site, ModernPhysician.com.