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April 2016
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  • Making a Mark to Reach Former Members

    S. Masood Ali, MD, leads way as HOD attendees reach out to former ISMS members.

    During the 2016 ISMS Annual Meeting and House of Delegates (HOD) in Springfield, member attendees participated in a letter-writing campaign encouraging former members to rejoin ISMS. Of the 40-plus individuals who signed nearly 275 letters, Syed Masood Ali, MD, a family medicine physician in Peoria, led the way by signing 48 letters.Physician Advocate asked him to share some thoughts on his passion for medicine, the importance of ISMS membership and more during a brief Q&A session. Here are his thoughts.

    Physician Advocate (PA): What prompted you to pursue a career in medicine? And why did you pursue family medicine?

    Syed Masood Ali, MD (SMA): I come from a family of physicians. My grandfather was a surgeon and my father was a cardiologist. I spent a lot of time with both of them, visiting patients and hearing their feedback on so many cases. It just seemed a natural fit for me to continue the same type of work. Family medicine was of great interest to me because it involves the whole family both in treatment and follow up care.

    PA: What do you enjoy the most about your work as a physician? What are the aspects that you find most rewarding?

    SMA: I enjoy all the different people I come across in my work. They come from so many different backgrounds yet their concerns ultimately are all the same — they want to be healthy. The most rewarding aspect of my work is seeing a patient who was not well improving and enjoying good health again. When patients change their lifestyles in order to live better lives, I feel accomplished.

    PA: What value do you feel the ISMS has provided for you? What aspects of membership and that you find important and why?

    SMA: ISMS has provided me with a wealth of information both professionally and with regards to policy within the organization and within our state government. It has been a source I rely on to keep me updated in any new direction medicine is taking. I rely on it to keep me abreast of new governmental policies.

    I enjoy the opportunities it provides for camaraderie with other physicians. It is always good to be able to share thoughts and ideas professionally to keep oneself open to new ideas and teachings. I believe ISMS is a great source to learn and understand the direction our state is taking with regard to medicine. It provides a great structure with which to promote those aspects of legislation that are good for patient care or to combat those that are adverse to quality patient care.

    PA: ISMS membership recruitment and retention is critical toward keeping a strong independent physician voice in Illinois. From your perspective, what can be done at the local county level to better recruit and retain physicians as members of the ISMS? What can ISMS do to assist in those efforts?

    SMA: I think one of the best ways to promote and maintain is to offer teaching programs to the membership in both social and lecture type events. Such programs offer a venue to gather those in the medical community for learning purposes with an opportunity to really discuss the material being provided. When provided within a well-planned structure it encourages participation, and word-of-mouth of successful events will spread to others.

    ISMS involvement could include offsetting the cost by providing materials of interest to either promote topics or to assist in the presentation of topics.

    PA: What hobbies or interests do you have away from medicine? Tell us a little bit about why they interest you?

    SMA: I enjoy reading and spending time with family and friends. I thoroughly enjoy the company of people — there is always something new to learn through them or about them. Reading provides me with the opportunity to truly relax and yet continue my learning experience.

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