Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


September 2011

California urges feds to increase physician supply

The California Assembly and Senate have passed a joint resolution urging President Obama and Congress to improve access to care in underserved areas by increasing the state’s supply of physicians. The resolution also recommends increasing the number of residency positions to keep pace with the growing need for physicians.


In a statement, CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale noted, “With the baby boomers beginning to retire, national health care reform expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured citizens, obesity rates hitting epidemic levels, and the repercussions of the national recession and California’s own severe budget deficit still playing out, it is more important than ever that we continue to assess, address and reform the obstacles facing California’s health care system. The most important of these obstacles, and one that is projected to grow substantially in the coming years, is ensuring sufficient and timely physician access for every Californian in need of a physician’s care.”


The Council on Graduate Medical Education recommends that a state have 60-80 primary care physicians per 100,000 people. California has an average of 63 per 100,000, but 42 of the state’s 58 counties fall below COGME’s minimum recommendations. Marin County, however, has 81 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, well above the state average.

Pertussis immunization deadline extended

A recent amendment to California’s pertussis immunization law gives schools the option to extend the deadline for students to show proof of vaccination for up to 30 days beyond the first day of school. Depending on the school district, students may continue to present for Tdap boosters until mid-September.


Pertussis continues to be widespread in California, with seasonal incidence highest during summer and fall. Physicians are urged to be prepared for a rush of last-minute Tdap appointments and to provide clear documentation of Tdap immunization that students can bring to school.


For additional information and resources about the new Tdap law, visit

Still time to RSVP for MMS Fall Dinner on Oct. 12

There’s still time to RSVP for the Oct. 12 MMS Fall Dinner, which features celebrated local physician and author Dr. Lee Lipsenthal. In his latest book, Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last, Lipsenthal describes how his life changed after he received a terminal diagnosis. He will talk about growing the sense of meaning and purpose in your life while enhancing the quality of your work.


The event, to be held at Jason’s Restaurant in Greenbrae, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7. Dinner choices include salmon, ribeye steak, brandy chicken or vegetarian gnocchi. To RSVP and indicate your dinner choice, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891 or You can also fax the attached flyer to 415-924-2749.

MMS Oct. 12 Dinner Flyer

Practice management workshop in Santa Rosa on Nov. 2

The California and Sonoma medical associations are cosponsoring “What Every Physician Needs To Know About Their Practice,” a two-hour workshop for physicians, administrators and office managers. The workshop--which runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa--will be conducted by Frank Navarro, the associate director of the CMA Center for Economic Services. Topics include finding and keeping qualified staff, controlling costs, and understanding your revenue stream.


The cost is just $45 for North Bay medical society members; nonmembers pay $95. To register, print the form attached below and fax to SCMA at 707-525-4328. You can also register by phone with a credit card by calling Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375. Registration deadline is Oct. 28.


Practice Management Workshop registration form

Fall issue of Marin Medicine explores levels of care

The fall issue of Marin Medicine, which was mailed to MMS members in early September, focuses on the different levels of care available in Marin County. It includes an interview with the county’s new public health officer, Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, an article on medical homes, a report on Partnership HealthPlan’s expansion into Marin County, and an essay on advance care planning.


The issue, which also includes technology and hospital updates, has been posted at Physicians and other health professionals interested in contributing to future issues can submit article proposals to the editor, Steve Osborn, at or 707-525-0101.


Marin General Hospital is offering free, two-part prostate cancer screenings during September. The first part, a PSA blood draw, is being offered until Sept. 16. The second part, a follow-up exam at the Marin Cancer Institute, is offered on Saturday, Sept. 24. Participating physicians includes Drs. Gary Grossfeld, Bart Gershbein, Harry Neuwirth, Joe Poen and Patrick Bennett. Advance registration for both screenings is required. To register, call 888-996-9644.


Reflecting its rising fortunes, Marin Community Clinics plans to purchase its existing San Rafael clinic building for $1 million. MCC had been leasing the building from the county for more than $350,00 per year, but the clinic decided to exercise a purchase option after raising sufficient funds. The purchase is the latest milestone in MCC’s phenomenal growth over the past few years. The organization logged nearly 100,000 patient visits last year.


Three hour-long CMA webinars will be held during September. All three begin at 12:15 p.m. “How to grow your practice” (Sept. 7) examines methods for increasing referral volumes and retaining current patients. “Medical billing standards for workers comp” (Sept. 15) gives an update on the newly adopted standards, which go into effect in October. “How to identify and stop unfair payment practices” (Sept. 21) covers claim submission deadlines, appeal rights and other factors affecting payment. All three webinars are free for CMA members; nonmembers pay $99. To register, visit


A short course on elder mediation will be held at Sonoma State University on Sept. 10 and 17. The course, which offers 14 hours of CEU credit, trains physicians, lawyers and other professionals to mediate decision making and resolve conflicts with elders and their families. The class is taught by Jane Iddings, a Petaluma lawyer and elder mediator. Cost is $154. To register, call SSU Extended Education at 707-664-2394 or visit


Medicare is sponsoring a free ACO learning session in San Francisco on Sept. 15 and 16. The session will feature national experts on accountable care organizations and will focus on developing core competencies necessary for ACO success. For more details, and to register, visit


Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler is the featured speaker at an all-day Childhood Obesity Conference at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Sept. 24. The conference, sponsored by Slow Food San Francisco, features presentations by physicians, nutritionists and chefs on solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic. Cost is $100. To register, visit


A free webinar on insulin management in type 2 diabetes will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 27. Presenter is Dr. Kimberly Buss, medical director of diabetes education for the Sutter Medical Foundation. To register, visit


The Coastal Dermatology Symposium will be held at the Silverado Resort in Napa from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1. The event offers up to 12.25 hours of Category 1 credit. Presenters from across the country will provide updates on the diagnosis and treatment of various skin diseases. Cost is $350. To register, visit or call 502-569-1356.


Doctors and nurses interested in a holistic approach to medicine and healing are invited to attend the second annual Healing, Mindfulness & Compassion Retreat at the Ratna Ling Center in northern Sonoma County from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. The retreat will explore integrating Western medical perspectives with traditional Tibetan practices. Cost is $375 and up, depending on lodging. To register, visit


A free cardiovascular health symposium will be held at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22. The event begins at 1 p.m. with four hours of presentations (and CME credits) on cardiovascular issues, followed by a complimentary dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by Oct. 14 to Kathy Ficco at or 707-547-4652.


Amanda Doherty, MD, Anatomic & Clinical Pathology*, 1615 Hill Rd. #B, Novato 94947, 925-7174, Fax 461-7228,, Duke Univ 2005


Steven Pyke, MD, Family Medicine*, 3900 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma 94954, 765-3960,, Univ Pittsburgh 1992


* board certified


Medical director/staff physician wanted

Sonoma Valley Community Health Center is seeking a family practice physician for the Medical Director/Staff Physician position. This position provides medical supervision and direction to the Health Center’s clinical services, as well as direct patient care. Must work collaboratively and be willing to support and back-up the mid-level clinicians, and provide call coverage through group call services for peds and family practice. We are looking for an innovator, a change manager and a demonstrated leader. Must have a current CA physician’s license. Call 707-939-6075 to learn more about the position. Website:



On-site guaranteed service. Office console provided. Stay compliant. Free consultation. Contact Marie Anderson at 415-721-7278 or


How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for MMS News Briefs or Marin Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.


The Marin Medical Society, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. We are affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.


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