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Workshop aims to reenergize physicians

Image for Workshop aims to reenergize physicians Anne Micheaux Akwari is a Durham physician and attorney who develops personalized solutions for physicians seeking to enhance their professionalism, communication skills, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Akwari will present a day long workshop entitled, “Why did I choose to practice medicine? A Communications Approach to Constructing Professional Identity and Satisfaction” on Sept. 23 at the Andrews Center at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh (visit for more information). Dr. Akwari agreed to share some insight into the workshop with Forum readers:

Q: Why is this sort of workshop needed?

A: To be only a little bit provocative, our profession is under siege. We should be proactive and be protective of our patients and our profession. Communication is our most frequently used clinical tool - it’s how we get our work done. Skilled communication is more efficient in the clinic and it is imperative in cycles of communication we should be having within our systems and in civil discourse in order to preserve the profession’s ability to serve patients.

Q: Who would benefit from participating?

A: Everyone. Until the 2003 requirement for communication education in all US medical schools, how we related to others was thought to be innate; either you had it or you didn’t. Fortunately, scholarship has shown that we can develop skills to be as purposeful and precise with our words as we are with palpation or the scalpel. Every physician needs to communicate well with patients and know how to partner and lead to enhance personal, patient, and organizational capacity.

Q: Why is it important for clinicians to retain their purpose and passion for medicine in today’s challenging practice environment?

A: We need a personal and professional identity rooted in the constructive ideals that drew us to medicine. Our patients cannot afford for us to lose heart. They need to know that we can answer their needs at whatever place of life they find themselves and that we can preserve American medicine toward that end.