You made it happen: Great progress, an enduring promise

January 14, 2015

By Vikas Saini, MD and Shannon Brownlee, MSc

 Thanks to all of you, this has been an extraordinary year. Two RightCare regional meetings have been held, the first in Denver, and another in Washington, DC, and there are at least eight more scheduled around the U.S. for 2015. We’ve doubled the membership for the RightCare Alliance; so many clinicians across the country are eager to learn how they can help reshape healthcare to make it more effective and just.

You’ve helped judge and award 11 RightCare Alliance Young Innovator grants, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to trainees and young attendings who have begun projects aimed at challenging the culture of overuse. Some of you will continue to guide and mentor the recipients, as their projects progress in the coming months.

Late last summer, we took an active role in organizing a letter from a community of several dozen academics and clinicians who cried foul when the long-trusted BMJ came under fire from statin proponents who demanded that the journal retract a paper calling into question their usefulness to many patients. Many of you added your impressive names to the list of signatories, which spans every corner of the globe.

All through the year, you’ve invited us to speak at medical assemblies around the country, emphasizing time and time again the strength of our shared mission and the need to work together to assure its certainty.

Our public website and RightCare Weekly, our e-newsletter, were launched and then expanded based on your helpful input. Thanks for your help and rave reviews. Please continue to comment on questions we pose on the newsletter and opine in our commentaries section of the web site.

2015 promises to be another remarkable year, especially as we prepare for our third annual conference, Road to RightCare: Engage, Organize, Transform, in San Diego, March 8-11. The distinguished speakers and informative sessions we’ve assembled will inspire lively discussion— and perhaps debate—and will provide a chance to attend the start of a movement and a momentous shift in healthcare.

Finally, the year ahead is one of many milestones. Our founder, Dr. Bernard Lown, inventor of the cardiac defibrillator, founded Physicians for Social Responsibility 55 year ago; co-founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 35 years ago; and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for IPPNW, 30 years ago.