by Shanna Combs, MD, TCMS President
This article was originally published in the November/December 2022 issue of the Tarrant County Physician.
And just like that, my year as the Tarrant County Medical Society president is nearly over. It has been a pleasure to serve in this role, and while my time is almost up, I wanted to look back over the past year.
My time started at the end of last year during an early reprieve from the COVID pandemic. The Gold-Headed Cane and President Installation was our first in-person event since the start of COVID. It was an amazing night of getting to see old colleagues and meet new ones. It was also amazing to have four female physicians being honored in one night; it was great to share the evening’s celebration with Drs. Susan Bailey, Teresa Godbey, and Angela Self.
Unfortunately, the year took a step back due to the COVID pandemic, and we once again had to change to a virtual meeting for the TMA Winter Conference. As we have done multiple times during the pandemic, we were able to pivot and carry on. Locally, our TCMS leadership came together to promote fellow physicians to seek out positions at TMA.
As we moved to April, we started to see light and were finally able to hold TexMed in person, the first time since 2019. The best part of the meeting was seeing the inauguration of our own Gary Floyd as TMA president. Moving into summer, we were able to have a Women in Medicine event where we gathered for some much-needed stress relief making bath bombs. While we were not all successful at making the bath bombs, we had a great time gathering again in person.
When the Dobbs decision came out in June, I had multiple opportunities to speak with local and national media about the importance of the patient/physician relationship, and how this decision has many far-reaching implications in medicine. I will continue to work on advocating for doctors and patients to make their own medical decisions without intervention from outside forces.
During July, I had the privilege to welcome our new Tarrant County medical students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Anne Burnett School of Medicine at TCU to TCMS and the world of organized medicine. It was refreshing to meet with these young students and to cheer them on as they begin their journey to having the greatest job on the planet: being a physician.
As we moved into the fall, we had another opportunity to gather again at the TMA Fall Conference. We are slowly finding our way through this COVID pandemic, returning to some form of normalcy. While I cannot quite say it seems to be over, as this has been said too many times before, we continue to find a way through.
While my tenure as TCMS president may be coming to an end, I will continue to contribute to the work of our county, state, and national medical societies. If I have learned anything over the past year, it is that we must be at the table and part of the discussion; otherwise, people who don’t practice medicine will continue to try to tell us how to do our job. We have worked too hard to become physicians to allow others to practice medicine for us, and it isn’t in the best interest of our patients or our vocation – the work that still is, despite so many challenges, the best job on the planet.