The Pulse of King County Medicine
The Pulse of King County Medicine
Marching Towards Progress:
Funding the Future of Medical Education
Free Tuition and What it Means
by Carlos Salazar - Medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and KCMS member.
As a first-generation college graduate born to immigrant parents from El Salvador, I grappled with uncertainty regarding my ability to embark on the path to medicine.
The looming concern of accumulating substantial loans for a medical education lingered in my mind. Dr. Ruth Gottesman's remarkable donation has alleviated a profound burden for myself and my peers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her generosity, rendering medical education tuition-free, has provided a collective sigh of relief and allowed us to pursue our passion for medicine without being constrained by the financial implications.
This monumental gift ensures that our choices in medicine are driven by passion and purpose rather than the urgency to repay loans. Beyond its immediate impact, Dr. Gottesman's donation holds the promise of equalizing access to medical education. It paves the way for individuals like myself, who may not have otherwise had the means to embark on the journey to become a physician. The effect extends even further to fostering a diverse cohort of future students, facilitating comprehensive training that, in turn, addresses the healthcare needs of our underserved patient population in the Bronx. In expressing my gratitude,
I extend heartfelt thanks to Dr. Ruth Gottesman for transforming the aspirations of present and future aspiring physicians into an inclusive and attainable reality for all.
Please watch the fantastic video HERE of Dr. Gottlesman's announcement.
Link to the Eistein Medical School Announcement

Ensuring Medical Education

Recently, Ruth Gottesman, EdD,  an emerita faculty member and chair of the board of trustees, made headlines with her monumental $1 billion donation to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This generous gift ensures that medical education at Einstein will be tuition-free indefinitely, opening doors for aspiring doctors regardless of their financial background. The endowment is a remarkable act of philanthropy that will change the lives of generations of people - including both the physicians in training and the populations of patients they will serve.

Dr. Gottesman's donation signifies a commitment to healthcare accessibility and excellence. By eliminating the financial burden of medical school tuition, aspiring doctors from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds can pursue their dreams without accruing enormous debt. This initiative expands access to medical education and fosters a more inclusive and talented healthcare workforce. Moreover, it addresses the prevalent issue of student loans, which often hampers aspiring physicians' career choices and financial stability. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the median medical school debt among the Class of 2021 was $200,000, not including their undergraduate debt. Dr. Gottesman's donation alleviates the financial burden, allowing students to focus on their education and professional development without incurring debt with interest that is non-deductible, non-dischargeable, and may take a career to repay

However, the significance of Dr. Gottesman's donation extends far beyond tuition relief. By empowering aspiring doctors to pursue their passion for healing without financial constraints, this philanthropy cultivates a brighter future for healthcare because it fosters innovation, compassion, and a commitment to providing care to underserved communities. Moreover, the ripple effects of medical education extend globally as these doctors become agents of change in addressing pressing health challenges worldwide. Ultimately, it enables these future physicians to contribute meaningfully to society by alleviating suffering, preserving lives, and advancing medical research.

Dr. Ruth Gottesman's visionary philanthropy is a poignant reminder of the transformative power of wealth when directed practically. By investing in medical education and alleviating student debt, the gift not only removes financial barriers but also cultivates a generation of compassionate and skilled healthcare professionals who hopefully will be inclined to 'pay it forward.’  The transformational legacy will enrich lives and build a more equitable and compassionate world for generations to come.

We can all 'do something good' to help medical students succeed. Although significantly smaller, our King County Medical Society Community Foundation has a 501(c)3, which funds grants to medical students in Washinton State.  Please consider donating to help change lives.

Michelle Terry, MD
Past- president, King County Medical Society
Donate to the KCMS Community Foundation Scholarship

Join Us at KCMS Delegate Council: Uniting for Healthcare Innovation

An Open Invitation to Shape the Future of Healthcare
🌟 Join the KCMS Delegate Council! Uniting for Healthcare Innovation 🤝
Your Voice Matters: Be part of the change in healthcare.
Whether practicing, retired, or in training, your insights drive reforms.
Why Join?
  • Influence Policy: Use your expertise for legislative impact.
  • Shape the Future: Craft solutions for healthcare advancement.
  • Represent Peers: Voice the needs of healthcare professionals and communities.
  • Flexible Support:  We get your busy schedule. KCMS offers support and flexible participation to fit your life.
  • Build Community: Connect, share, and grow with fellow physicians. Together, we can innovate healthcare.

    📩 Get Involved: Contact Shurlon Brathwaite at
Learn More About the KCMS Delegate Council

Job Opportunity: Psychiatric Services Manager

Jail Health Services (JHS), a division of Public Health | Seattle & King County, seeks a driven, dynamic, and inspirational leader to oversee our Psychiatric Services section in our practice!
The Psychiatric Services Manager will provide leadership and oversight of all psychiatric programs within JHS, including providing guidance, vision, and direction to best serve our patients. This position is pivotal in building a work environment that promotes equity and social justice, employee engagement, inclusiveness, teamwork, continuous improvement, and connection across the psychiatric services programs and teams. This oversight role will also be responsible for setting and meeting service standards and accreditation requirements and improving mental health systems and processes for one of the jail’s most vulnerable populations.
For more information and application link, click the link below.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. The most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is by having regular colorectal cancer screening tests beginning at age 45.

The Seattle Times Northwest Voices

Fentanyl crisis. Sunday, March 10, 2024
By J. Kimber Rotchford, MD, MPH, FASAM, FACPM.
Re: "Fentanyl crisis a turning point, so what is being done?" [March 3, A1]
The fentanyl overdose epidemic warrants novel approaches supported by evidence. Historically, when a patient's ill health presented a risk to others, as in a tuberculosis epidemic, health officers had the authority to quarantine and ensure the ill person received adequate treatment before returning to the community. There understandably needs to be limits to behavior that puts others at significant risk,  let alone the individual. The criminal legal system should not be the first to impose these limits when a treatable medical illness exists. The criminal legal system was not designed for and does not ensure professional medical care. 
Evidence strongly supports contingency management in addressing substance use disorders. Successful contingency management rewards healthy behavior, often with nominal rewards. This is in contrast to the current punitive and shaming approaches. 
We must eventually address social determinants, the availability of abusable substances, and other risk factors. The priority is to ensure those suffering and who are at significant risk of dying receive timely care. I urge care to be free and to implement a public health and contingency management approach where punitive and shaming approaches are rarely needed. We keep doing it in the same old ways while expecting different results. 

The AMA Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellowship

The AMA Center for Health Equity seeks applicants for the Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellowship program’s 2024-2025 cohort. The application deadline has been extended to April 1, 2024.
The program is administered through a partnership between the AMA and the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute. Using an anti-racist, equity-centered learning framework, fellows engage with equity experts and trailblazers. The fellowship equips and empowers fellows to be part of the next generation of advocacy leaders, driving meaningful policy and structural changes that produce equity and justice in the communities they serve.

Medicare Update:

A Step Forward but More Work for Physicians

In a crucial development for Medicare, Congress has made a significant move to address the anticipated physician pay cut. The House and Senate have effectively halved the looming 3.4% pay reduction to 1.68% for 2024 in a recently passed budget deal. This adjustment to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule is set to begin on March 9, running through the calendar year, with President Biden's signature expected. While this act provides some relief, it only partially addresses the broader issue, particularly when viewed against last year's 2% reduction, further straining the financial sustainability of physician practices and access to quality care for seniors, especially in rural and underserved areas.

Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, AMA President, voiced significant disappointment over Congress's failure to fully reverse the cuts, stressing the missed opportunity for more comprehensive action: "While we appreciate the challenges Congress confronted, we are extremely disappointed that about half of the 2024 Medicare physician payment cuts will be allowed to continue." His statement underscores the critical need to end the ongoing cycle of temporary fixes and to push for lasting reforms.

Dr. Ehrenfeld further emphasized the consequences of congressional inaction, stating, "Because of Congress' failure to reverse these cuts ...physicians will find it more difficult to accept new Medicare patients."
While a step in the right direction, the recent legislative action reminds us of the ongoing need for vigilance and advocacy for comprehensive Medicare physician payment reform.

WSMA 2024 Leadership Development Conference

The 2024 WSMA Leadership Development Conference is scheduled for May 17-18 at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan. Registration is available. To sign up or receive more information, click the button below.
Contact Us 
200 Broadway Suite 200 | Seattle, WA 98122 United States
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.