Vol. VIII, No. 3 The Louisiana Campaign Newsletter May 1996

Palmisano campaign for Board of Trustees endorsed by ACS, AGA

 The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) have joined the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) and Orleans Parish Medical Society in endorsing the campaign of Donald J. Palmisano, MD for the AMA Board of Trustees.

 A board-certified surgeon, Dr. Palmisano is a long-time member of the ACS. He authored the risk management section on informed consent for the ACS book, Professional Liability/Risk Management. In addition, he has served on the ACS Regeants Professional Liability Committee since 1992.

 "Not only is Dr. Palmisano a well-qualified surgeon, but he also is very knowledgeable in the areas of profes-sional liability and risk management, issues that are of significant interest to every physician in this country," said Paul A. Ebert, MD, ACS Director, in the College's letter of endorsement to the LSMS. "He is an eloquent speaker and is well known ... for his well thought out and clearly articulated positions on important issues."

 James W. Freston, MD, PhD, president of the AGA, noted in the association's letter of endorsement: "We are pleased to extend our enthusiastic endorsement of your candidacy for the AMA Board of Trustees. We have observed your performance within the AMA with admiration and respect."

Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD

Candidate, AMA Board of Trustees
 Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

1960 - Bachelor of Science Degree, Tulane University, New Orleans
1963 - Doctor of Medicine Degree, Tulane School of Medicine, New Orleans
1982 - Juris Doctorate Degree, Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans

Internship & Surgical Residency
1963 - 68 - Charity Hospital, Tulane Service, New Orleans

1968 - 70 - USAF, Major & Chief of Surgery, 821st Medical Group (SAC)
* Air Force Commendation Medal for "outstanding professional skill, knowledge, and leadership in accomplishing immediate evacuation and medical treatment of crew members and rescue personnel injured in a major aircraft accident" (B-52)

Private Practice
1970 - Present - General and Vascular Surgery (Board Certified)

Faculty Appointments
* Clinical Professor of Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine
* Clinical Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Tulane University School of Medicine

Professional Organizations
* President, Louisiana State Medical Society (1984 - 85)
* Louisiana Delegate to the AMA (1986 - present); Chairman of Delegation since 1992
* Fellow, American College of Surgeons; Diplomate, American Board of Surgery
* Member, various surgical, medical, and legal organizations, including American Bar Association and Louisiana State Bar Association

Professional Appointments
* Former Chief of Surgery and Medical Staff President, Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital (PMMH), New Orleans and present active staff at PMMH and Lakeland Hospital
 * Chair, Louisiana Medical Disclosure Panel
* Member, American College of Surgeons Regeants Professional Liability Committee
* Physician Insurers Assn. of America (PIAA) Special Committee to Study Alternatives to the Present Tort System (1985-89)
* LA Governor's Commission on Medical Malpractice (1982 - 84)
* LA Governor's Task Force on Organ Donations; Chair, Legal Subcommittee (1983 - 84)

Risk Management & Claims Consulting
* President, Intrepid Resources/The Medical Risk Manager Company providing professional liability claims handling, risk management, and managed care contracting advice to physicians, clinics, and hospitals
* Founding Board member and former Vice President of Claims for the Louisiana Medical Mutual Insurance Co. (LAMMICO), a physician-owned professional liability insurer

Publishing & Presentations
* 50 articles and more than 200 lectures and presentations on medical and legal topics

Dr. Palmisano (wearing surgical telescopes)
and Jan T. McClanahan, MD, one of his
surgical partners, perform a femoral-popliteal
arterial bypass operation for ischemia in
March 1996.

The Pelican Brief -- The Candidate's position on the issues

Study of the Federation: E Pluribus Unum

 "Danger invites rescue. The cry of distress is the summons to relief." So said New York Judge Benjamin Cardozo prior to his becoming a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. One could say that this 1921 statement is apropos today to our AMA. We are in danger because of decreasing membership and changing modes of practice sweeping across the nation. Thus was born our Study of the Federation. The original recommendations presented at I-95 were debated vigorously. A revised summary issued February 21 made changes but - importantly - concluded that the "purpose of the Study ... is to find ways to strengthen the Federation of Medicine so that it serves physicians efficiently and effectively, providing the best value for the dues they spend."

It is obvious that physicians and patients would be served best if a strong democratic organization represented our richness in diversity with a common voice to the world, including the ever growing important arena of Congress. If physicians at the grass roots clearly understand that our AMA is representing them in a relevant way, they will join. Then we will hear less of the refrain I hear in my recruitment of new members: "What's in it for me and my patients? The AMA doesn't represent me." This year I was able to convince 10 doctors (including one who has been a very vocal critic of the AMA for years) to join. However, they told me that even though my persistence and advocacy won them over, they would watch carefully whether we demonstrate leadership as well as clarity and consistency in our goals. I emphasized that this was the new AMA and we will get the job done!

One element of leadership is how we handle the concerns demonstrated in the Study of the Federation. I strongly urge a review of Dr. Gary Krieger's (Delegate from California) article in the January 15 issue of American Medical News. It clearly gives detailed reasons why certain recommendations in the Study are problematic. However, Dr. Prema Mona Khanna, a member of the consortium and project teams of the Study of the Federation, strongly advocates a change from the status quo in the April 1996 issue of The Internist.

In any quest to reach a consensus, a critical step is to agree on common goals. If so, the solution is easier, as the debate then focuses on different ways to reach the goals. We all agree on the common goals: improved efficiency and value, increased membership, and speaking with a unified voice - a goal akin to the motto of these United States: "E pluribus unum" (out of many, one). Let us then prepare in good faith to find an acceptable path to the goals. Timely dissemination of the latest feedback from the state associations and specialty organizations would be helpful in our advance planning. I believe a most critical piece of evidence in this debate is the answer to a question raised at the Interim Meeting, namely, have the specialty societies signed on to the concept and will they agree to speak as one voice after the debate is over and a consensus reached in the proposed new federation?

Note: Over the years, I have found the writings of Edward de Bono extremely helpful in finding alternative ways to reach a common goal. His classic book is New Think, and other popular books he wrote are Lateral Thinking, Six Thinking Hats, and Six Action Shoes. While at the library or bookstore, be sure to get a copy of John Allen Paulos's (author of the best seller Innumeracy) new book A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper. It presents a common sense approach to the analysis of reports. A review of these books prior to the June meeting may be just the "relief" Justice Cardozo mentions above.

What others are saying about Dr. Palmisano

Dr. Palmisano is a well-trained and extremely competent general and vascular surgeon with much and varied experience in these disciplines. His clinical judgment is excellent, his concern for his patients' welfare is paramount. Residents, students, and fellow practitioners know him as a lucid and stimulating teacher, and a patient mentor. In recent years, my contact with Dr. Palmisano concerns his role as consultant to the Mahorner Clinic in claims management and risk control. Dr. Palmisano brought to our clinic and our physicians the same lucid and stimulating style, professional excellence, eternal patience and total dedication that he had continually provided his physician trainees and patients. Dr. Palmisano's personal and professional ethics and integrity are of the highest order. He enjoys an outstanding reputation as a professional in two disciplines and as a community member. I recommend him without reservation. John J. Walsh, MD Chancellor Emeritus, Tulane Medical Center

Tabasco Update - She's doing great!

The Pelican recipe files:
from the kitchen of Nathlie diBenedetto, Baton Rouge

Garlic Cheese Grits

2 cups water

  • 1 roll of garlic cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2  cup quick grits 
  • salt & pepper
    Cook grits according to package directions. Remove from heat and add cheese(cubed) and butter. Stir until cheese is melted, heating a bit more if necessary. Add eggs, salt, pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Mix well,taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour into greased baking dish.Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.Serves 4-6. A good brunch dish.Browser Fixed

The Pelican

The campaign newsletter of the Louisiana State Medical Society
 Samuel A. Leonard, MD
 W. Juan Watkins, MD
 Cary Aguillard, Jr., MD
 Contributing Editors
 3501 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 800
 Metairie, LA 70002

Palmisano for AMA Trustee: A Strong Voice. A Clear Choice.

Dr. Palmisano welcomes your comments and suggestions on his campaign. You can reach him via
Internet World Wide Web:

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