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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
by Charles C. Bookert
WHY BELONG TO THE NMA?

During the past three years an increasing number of Black physicians have been brought to trial to defend themselves against charges of professional misconduct. Black physicians have also been plaintiffs in cases where they have charged hospitals and other health facilities with racial discrimination upon being denied medical privileges. Historically, Black physicians have always sought assistance and support from the NMA at the local and/or national level to fight the injustices within the medical profession and society at large. In many instances, requests for support come from physicians who were not financial members of the Association, yet the NMA has rendered aid regardless of one's financial status, particularly when medical careers were threatened.

Although the Civil Rights Movement of the late 60's and early 70's began to address the inequities of the medical profession, commitment to rectify discriminatory practices of the past are giving way to increasing accusation of "reverse discrimination". Black physicians who may have felt that we were entering an era where the NMA was no longer necessary are now witnessing the importance of having an organization that will address the needs and express the concerns of the Black medical community.

Organized in 1895, the NMA continues to strive for quality training of Black physicians and adherence to the principle that health care is a right and not a privilege. The controversial Bakke case has already been used as an excuse to abort affirmative action programs that were beginning to have some impact in increasing the number of Black and minority students admitted to medical schools. Although the NMA, NBA and NAFEO conjointly submitted an amicus curiae on behalf of the University of California-Davis, we must fight and insist that minority programs are not eliminated.

We must also assume a more influential role in shaping out national health policy. Black health professionals must be involved in Health Systems Agencies (HSA's) and Professional Standards Review Organizations (PSRO's) at the decision-making level. We must be organized to have maximum effort on current health issues before our legislators. If the NMA is not strong; if Black physicians fail to recognize that they have strength in numbers, we will be forced to live with a national health policy that will not be responsive to Black physicians or Black health care consumers. We cannot nor should we rely on others to safeguard our interests.

I have only stated a few reasons for becoming an active member of the NMA. In closing, I believe belonging to the NMA will give you an opportunity to help a greater number of Black people gain access to the mainstream of American society.

[[image]]
[[caption]] CHARLES C. BOOKERT, M.D.
President, National Medical Association [[/caption]]

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RADIOLOGY | ULTRASONICS AND CAT SCANNING | SAT & SUN JULY 29-30
The education objectives of the workshop are:
1. To teach radiologist a systematic approach to a given disease entity by mean of radiographic methods available.
2. To demonstrate and evaluate the performance and interpretation of B. Sonograms and CAT Scans.

SURGERY | STAPLES IN SURGERY   SATURDAY JULY 29
This workshop will demonstrate on dogs in experimental surgery techniques of stapling lung and intestine.

  | STABILIZING THE UNSTABLE SURGICAL PATIENT 
A morning session will feature a review of etiology, monitoring transport mechanisms, and treatment. The afternoon session will allow for further three group discussions with each group giving a presentation at the close of the workshop.

COMMUNITY MEDICINE, FAMILY PRACTICE AND NEUROLOGY-PSYCHIATRY | AGING  |  SATURDAY JULY 29
These three sections will be sponsoring a workshop on AGING (program to be announced).

[[image]]
[[caption]] Charles C. Bookert, M.D. and family.

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