Although it is already February, on behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish that every ACPJ member has a happy and prosperous 2018.
At the beginning of each year, we have to renew our registration with the Medical Council of Jamaica before the deadline of February 28. That implies that you have the mandatory 2 hours of Ethics exposure. However, if you don’t the required hours, you still have a chance to gain them by attending our 2018 Ethics Symposium on February 25 at the Teaching and Research Complex, UWI. Even if you already have the required hours, still attend the symposium so that you can get an early start on your 2019 registration! This year, we are focusing on an important topic, which is sadly neglected by our profession, that is, the “Impaired Doctor.” That term means a significant number of our colleagues suffer from drug addiction, alcoholism, psychiatric disease, dementia etc., all of which imperil patient care. Statistics from other countries show that these issues are at least as common in physicians as they are in the general population. It’s a hidden underbelly that requires mechanisms to be systematically deployed, but we have avoided the issue, especially because of the fear of stigma. Drs. Blossom Anglin-Brown, Owen James, Aggrey Irons and others, will teach us how to identify affected colleagues, and how to assist them in a caring manner. We will also discuss what regulations and systems are needed in future for this problem.
February is also the time when we think about cardiovascular disease, as it is Heart Month. The ACPJ supports the efforts of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica to educate the public about the deadly killer, Heart Disease. The HFJ has recently been tirelessly campaigning against obesity especially in children and advocated decreasing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Jamaica Moves Initiative. We salute, support and partner in these efforts as they embrace some of the core values of the ACPJ.
We are touched that this year, the HFJ’s Annual Medical Symposium will feature the inaugural “Knox Hagley Memorial Lecture,” named after our esteemed colleague of blessed memory. Dr. Hagley was a past president of the ACPJ and was a tireless advocate in the fight against cardiovascular disease and for tobacco cessation. The lecture will be delivered by Prof Salim Yusuf of McMaster University on the role of optimal diets for health. Prof Yusuf is a renowned cardiovascular epidemiologist and clinical trial investigator who has been involved in pivotal clinical trials such as SOLVD, DIG, INTERHEART, HOPE, CHARM, and ONTARGET. The Symposium will be on Tuesday, Feb 27, at Spanish Court Hotel.
We look forward to seeing you at these events.