John Hartman, MD
John Hartman, MD, is a board-certified nephrologist with an extensive background in technology. He is the chief executive officer of Visonex, LLC, former Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors, Treasurer of Brown County Medical Society and Chair of WisMedPAC. Dr. Hartman shared some thoughts about being politically active.
How long have you been politically active?
About 17 years.
How does being politically active make you a better physician advocate?
If we are not part of organized medicine, we have no voice. Therefore, to be a true advocate we need to think long term about how and what is happening in medicine and how it impacts our ability to practice medicine.
What’s your advice for physicians on how to get more involved in issues that affect their profession?
Volunteer. Start locally. If you understand the local issues, that helps the conversation at the state level, and ultimately the national level. Give to our PAC and WisMedDirect. By using our PAC we get double credit, your donation and our collection of it. It matters not which party you give to – medicine is a bipartisan issue. But give to and use the PAC. Have conversations.
If you can’t give money, give time. No time, then give money. It is too important not to be involved. Physicians don’t like politics by a general nature. However, politics impact our ability to deliver high quality care.
Other than politics, what interests you at the moment?
I am a voracious reader. I also love to mentor companies and am involved in the Green Bay Packers Mentor Protégé program as a founding member. I have separately mentored other companies and enjoy the entrepreneurial process.
What is the best part of being a physician advocate?
I believe in the mission of the Wisconsin Medical Society and the importance of the physician-patient relationship. By working to advance that mission, patient care is directly impacted. Physicians have greater ability to provide the best care possible and patients benefit. At the base of it all, it is about patient care and how we can provide the highest, most compassionate care possible.
What have you gained by being involved in the Wisconsin Medical Society (organized medicine/PAC)?
I have had the honor of being in the leadership and working to improve the lives of my fellow physicians and thereby the patients they serve. Through volunteering over many years and fighting for and with my fellow physicians I have gained a better understanding of the importance of the struggle to preserve the patient-physician relationship and that physician advocacy is desperately needed. Enterprise Health Systems are not inherently bad, but the Wisconsin Medical Society and our PAC advocate for the physician and the patient-physician relationship. That is a worthwhile goal.
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