San Diego, CA -- Today James T. Breeden, MD, of Nevada, became the 63rd president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), based in Washington, DC. Dr. Breeden was sworn in during the presidential inauguration and convocation at the annual conference of ob-gyns in San Diego, CA.
Before announcing the focus of his presidential initiatives, Dr. Breeden discussed how ACOG remains “dedicated to our founding mission: the advancement of women’s health through excellence in education, practice, research, and advocacy with patient safety integral to these goals” and how, as ACOG president, he is committed to enhancing those same goals.
“In particular, there is one specific patient safety and practice issue that is a clinical emergency encountered by every obstetrician—shoulder dystocia—which is often associated with brachial plexus palsy,” said Dr. Breeden. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves near the neck, which, if injured, can result in arm weakness or loss of motion. “We have formed an ACOG work group to review and synthesize current recommendations regarding the predictability, prevention, and avoidance of shoulder dystocia with the goal of providing long-term benefits for both our patients and our members.”
Dr. Breeden expressed concern that “we seem to be in a time when ideology trumps science. As politicians increasingly attempt to legislate the practice of medicine and the doctor-patient relationship, ACOG’s advocacy efforts are more important than ever.” Although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included family planning among the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, the US has the highest unintended pregnancy rate in the developed world.
“Here we are still fighting to ensure that all women have access to contraceptive care which is essential to their health and well-being,” Dr. Breeden said. “Family planning is about freedom—the freedom to decide when and if to have children. ACOG supports access to family planning counseling and to the full array of FDA-approved contraceptives.”
In response to the various challenges facing the specialty, Dr. Breeden stressed, “ACOG must embrace the new communication strategies in order to excel in its advocacy and educational goals in the 21st century.” Today 274 million Americans have internet access, double the number since 2000; 91 percent of online adults use social media regularly; and smartphones will overtake PCs as the most common web access devices worldwide by 2013. “Most importantly, we know that the use of mobile internet as the primary information source for future clinicians is steadily increasing,” he said. As a result, ACOG must “change the way we conduct meetings, deliver education, network, and interact with each other to remain relevant and improve value to our current and future patients and members.”
In closing, Dr. Breeden congratulated and welcomed new inductees to ACOG and challenged each to “maintain your current level of professional achievement with lifelong learning.” He also addressed the unprecedented generational and gender changes within the specialty and stressed how talented and visionary leadership is necessary for the continued success of the organization. In order to encourage and enable the next generation of ob-gyns, especially women, to become active in their communities and within ACOG, Dr. Breeden will convene a Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Practice and Leadership. “This task force will study the challenges and changes in how we practice medicine and the type of care we provide, and how we balance work, lifestyle, and family responsibilities.”
Dr. Breeden is president of the Carson Medical Group, a 26-physician multi-specialty group in Carson City, NV, where he has practiced ob-gyn for 35 years and for the past eight years has specialized in women’s office care and gynecologic surgery.
Dr. Breeden has held a variety of positions at the Carson Tahoe Hospital, where he was chief of staff, a 10-year member of the executive board, and chair of the department of ob-gyn. He is also a founding partner, officer, and director of Sierra Surgery Hospital.
Dr. Breeden received his medical degree from the Marquette School of Medicine in Milwaukee, WI. He completed his residency training at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, CA, and then went on to serve as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy. He was a staff physician in ob-gyn at the Port Hueneme Naval Hospital in California from 1974 to 1976 before moving to Nevada.
In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Breeden is a certified financial planner and has a master’s of science in financial planning. He has served as vice president and treasurer for ACOG and has spoken across the country and at countless ob-gyn meetings on financial planning for physicians.
Hear more with Dr. Breeden.