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First Medical Role Model Still Inspires My Work Today
Posted on: 5/3/2013
 Eldon A. Trame, MD
ISMS President

Eldon A. Trame, MD

Thank you for the honor of electing me president of the Illinois State Medical Society. I look forward to the opportunity throughout this year to take our message around the state, both to members, non-member physicians who need to join with us, and the lay public – our patients.

I am a general internist caring mostly for geriatric patients down south in the city of Belleville of St. Clair County, the county known to you for being consistently rated as one of the worst judicial hell holes in the nation.

I try to practice in the manner of the physicians who cared for me while I was growing up. A strong influence on my approach to medicine comes from Dr. Wilson DuComb. He was a second generation general practitioner who provided care for three generations of my family in rural Illinois. When my father faced a bout of scarlet fever, it was Dr. DuComb who tended to him, sometimes traveling with my grandfather on horse and buggy because the roads were too muddy for car travel. I recall one year, after a visit to complete my school physical, he turned to my mother for a series of questions about her "condition." That's how I learned I was going to be a big brother. It was Dr. DuComb who extracted a lead pencil chunk from my brother who fell victim to a grade school prankster and it was Dr. DuComb who was there for the birth of that same brother's first child. 

I highlight my family's personal experience with Dr. DuComb because he is my example for the value of a knowledgeable primary care physician. But medicine has changed since that bygone era. The three-by-five cards Dr. DuComb used for medical records definitely wouldn’t qualify for Medicare meaningful use!

One of my goals for the year ahead is to talk with patients about the importance of establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor. I am also initiating an ISMS effort to partner with other medical stakeholder groups to educate our primary care members with the know how to prepare for certification as a patient-centered medical home. I'd also like to make sure our all ISMS members are prepared for reimbursement changes as more payers move away from the traditional fee-for-service payment system. ISMS must be a leader in preparing members for success under evolving payment and practice models.

As your new president, I pledge to work hard to represent each and every one of you, regardless of specialty or region.  

During my term I'll be at your service and can be reached at DrTrame@isms.org.

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