Renowned health care leader Janis M. Orlowski, MD, MACP, will share an optimistic message about the future of health care when she delivers the annual SSAT Maja and Frank G. Moody State-of-the-Art Lecture on Monday morning.

Janis M. Orlowski, MD, MACP

A nephrologist and the chief health care officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Dr. Orlowski will discuss AAMC’s efforts to improve health care quality and advance the academic medical center of the future. AAMC offers many services for the medical profession — from administering exams to supporting its member colleges — and also acts as a think tank.

“We examine what’s going on in clinical care and regularly interact with the federal government on policies and regulations that affect health care,” Dr. Orlowski said.

The most important message that Dr. Orlowski wants to impart to health care professionals during these uncertain times is that they are important and valuable assets to the country.

“In good times and in bad times, the country depends on us,” she said. “We have to be able to thrive, even when there are significant changes to things like health care reimbursement. We may not necessarily agree with the changes we face. We may have concerns about how the most vulnerable in our population will be served. But my experience is, whatever the crisis, the nation turns to our academic medical centers.”

This, she said, gives academic medical centers tremendous influence.

“How can we bring the words of wisdom from our members and present them in a coherent way to Congress?” Dr. Orlowski asked. “That’s one role we play. We have to be able to strongly speak out when we believe that what the government is doing could cause harm to our members and the populations they serve.”

During Monday’s 45-minute lecture, Dr. Orlowski will encourage audience members to make the best of the dramatic changes unfolding in the health care delivery system.

“We can look at it two ways,” she said. “We can come along begrudgingly, longing for the old ways, or we can look at the changes and fully participate. In the end, knowledge is key. If we can understand what’s going to change and what our roles and responsibilities will be, we can evolve and thrive during times of change.”

Dr. Orlowski said another message she hopes to convey is that the future is bright.

“We sometimes get bogged down in day-to-day issues, but as a physician, this is a good life,” she said. “It’s a great time to be in medicine. We’re at a phenomenal point of being able to integrate technology into care in ways that we’ve never been able to do before. Look at how far we’ve come. Revolutionary advances have occurred, and sometimes we have to stop to appreciate it. I feel lucky to to part of this field. It really is just amazing.”

Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or the Program section in Monday’s DDW Daily News for additional details on this and other DDW® events.