Contents tagged with balkcom

  • Defining the meaning of “meaningful use”

    Tags: texas family physician, meaningful use, technology, tradition, balkcom, president's letter

    By I.L. Balkcom IV, M.D.
    TAFP President

    Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I am attempting to practice on my laptop so I might understand how to have a “meaningful” encounter with my patient. I have made progress in technology in that I even sent our chief operating officer, Kathy McCarthy, an e-mail this year—a proud moment in my technological infancy. Now I find myself immersed in a small screen with small print and myriad options for the EHR. As Peanuts would say, “ARRRGHH!” as I erase an entire page by accident.

    Now for those of you who are fortunate enough to know all things computer or young enough to have grown up with iPhones, laptops, and MP3 players, I heartily congratulate you. Some of us less technologically gifted are still learning how to turn on these infernal machines and not to treat them like coke machines—beat and kick the “heck” out of them. I wish so often they would say something so I could keep up my tirade. Oh, I forgot. They do talk to you now.

  • Protecting our most vulnerable

    Tags: responsibility, balkcom, abuse, children, president's letter

    By I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D.
    TAFP President 2012-2013

    Her name was not important. This little 6-year-old girl I had been called to examine in the emergency room now sat silently, flanked by her mother and mother’s boyfriend.

    I was in my third year of residency and was summoned to evaluate this patient who I’d been told had fallen in the bathtub at home. She had a large bruise around her left eye.

  • Patient relationships are the treasures of family medicine

    Tags: texas family physician, president, balkcom, physician, patients, relationship

    By I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D.
    TAFP President, 2011-2012

    It’s just a small, non-descript pin. Its cash value is minimal and if found in someone’s drawer, it would be summarily thrown in the trash while other more prized items would be saved. However, this pin is a treasure to me. I will guard this pin until my time on earth has passed. While cleaning out my drawer I’m sure someone will ask why I kept this.

    The middle of November found me attending a very special event for a young man of 17 years. Luke was receiving his induction as an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. I had been honored to be chosen to attend the service, as I had attended to Luke since he was a very young child. His mother and father are patients of mine also and I silently cheered for them, beaming with pride at their son’s accomplishment.

  • The chance of a lifetime

    Tags: texas family physician, president's letter, balkcom

    An excerpt from the inaugural speech of TAFP’s new president

    By I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D.
    TAFP President, 2011-2012

    In 1987, as I was graduating from the Columbus medical center’s residency program, I thought I was hot potatoes. We were good. The 12 of us just thought that we were it. I felt like I could do a Caesarean section with a teaspoon. There was no body cavity I couldn’t align. We felt like we could just do it all.

    So, armed with that knowledge, I set off in the world. I happened to be going to a meeting at the Capitol one day, and as I checked in at my hotel, I was puffed up pretty good. I signed in: “Dr. I. L. Balkcom, IV, M.D.”