March 2019

This February was the coldest in Los Angeles since 1962, and in the entire month, every day was below 70 degrees, which made the LA history books!  Yet, even with this blast of cold, our 59th annual meeting on February 22-24, 2019 was a great success due to its hot topics and stellar presenters.  The meeting was attended by over 220 people, including dental, medical, and legal professionals.  The event featured many well-known and respected speakers, all leaders in the medical-legal arena.  The President’s Banquet featured Mr. Tom Girardi, who was instrumental in the settlement of $333 million from Pacific Gas & Electric for the residents of Hinkley, California.  The pollution of the groundwater affected the public health of the community and inspired the Hollywood Blockbuster Film, “Erin Brockovich.” Additionally, the Stewart Reuter Lecture was given by Dr. Sandra Johnson, who presented on the fascinating topic of Artificial Intelligence in Health Ethics.  Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz presented at the Cyril Wecht Luncheon on the topic of sports-related concussions.  Research showed that high school cheerleading is more dangerous than high school boys’ basketball, as the incidence of concussion is comparatively higher for cheerleading!  The 60th Annual American College of Legal Medicine will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 20-23, 2020.  Please save the date and make sure to attend.
 
As the new president of the College, I will try to foster communication between membership by having monthly President’s Notes.  I know that all our members are involved in important projects at the intersection of law and medicine, and it is critical to allow our entire college membership to also be aware to allow discourse and discussion.  I hope that if there is a symposium or education conference in your area that would be of interest to the college membership, you would send me an email so that I can include it in our monthly communications.  I hope that you will also use this medium to learn about future events through my notes.
 
Furthermore, I will use the president’s notes as dissemination of hot topics and current events that affects legal and medical areas.  For example, Dr Blaudeau, a fellow of our college, alerted me to the insurance practice of sending reimbursement checks to patients instead of physicians in attempt to force physicians to becoming in-network providers, which you can read about here. These are the issues confronting practitioners on a daily basis and awareness will be vital so that we can effectuate changes.
 
Lastly, I would like to encourage you to invite a fellow colleague to join the college.  The college is only as strong as its membership.  I know you have friends who are also medical and legal colleagues interested in areas of legal medicine.  I would want physicians and attorneys to join so that more members can be informed and educated on the ever-changing landscape of legal medicine.  If all of us can bring one new member into the college, then we will have doubled the size of the college, and you, as members of the college, are our best recruiters.  Anyone with a professional degree can join as members.  Individuals with dual degrees can become fellows.  Go out there and get a friend to join!
 
As a result of the goal to have a bigger and stronger college, I have organized a workgroup meeting that is open to all members of the college.  The workgroup meeting will be on April 6, 2019 in Chicago.  The day long event is designed to renew our strategic plan for the next 3-5 years.  If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please email me in the next week so I can get you more information.  This is a formal call to arms as we have to set big goals to accomplish big things.
 
I hope that you will take the time to read the president’s notes each month, so best to make sure you adjust the spam filters on your email program as this will prevent my emails from going directly to the spam/trash folder.  If you prefer a paper version of the President’s Note, please also let me know so that I can make it happen.
 
I look forward to serving as your president this year and hope you can help me to make the ACLM bigger and better than ever!  Talk to you next month!

Veling Tsai
ACLM President
[email protected]