Dr. Catherine Kowal CCMS president Dr. Cesar DeLeon President elect, Dr. John Katopodis, FMA President, Members of the CCMS Board and CCMS physicians and guests: 


I am humbled and honored in in being selected to receive the CCMS Physician of the Year Award. My efforts with the Medical Society have been focused on better enabling our physician members to practice high quality medicine, unencumbered by organizational, institutional, or government influence. 


I came to Southwest Florida in Naples after having a wonderful career as a professional academic.  I was an associate professor at Loyola University School of Medicine, Associate Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern University Medical School and Chairman of Division of Cardiology at the Tulane University Medical School

As an academic we were protected from external and internal impediments, restrictions and limitations of our practicing good medicine.  When I arrived in Naples I realized that this was not the modus operando of institutional medicine. My displeasure with the method in which professionals were treated led me to seek out an organization that supported physicians and spoke out for their professional well-being. CCMS was and is that organization.


Through our society we have made great strides in assisting and supporting physicians through education, counseling & well-being initiatives, financial guidance, and social interactions. My efforts with the Medical Society have been focused on better enabling our physician members to practice high quality medicine, unencumbered by organizational, institutional, or government


The Seven Lessons I have learned of being a Good Physicians over my 45 years of practice is:

1. Be respectful and compassionate of your patient.

 2. Let patients Talk and Listen, Listen, Listen.

 3. Be comprehensive in your evaluating patients and use clinical evidence as a tool not a determinant of practice, and for God’s sake, lay a stethoscope on their chest!

4. Be honest but direct with your patient. Tell them as it is but tell them carefully

5. Explain the patient's findings, diagnosis and treatment in simple terms

6. Always go to science and embrace the power of information and communication technologies

7. Provide a clear direction and pathway for your patients in treating them  and promoting their health.

8. And above all, be a proactive advocate for your patient

Larry Casalino of Weill Cornell Medical College, Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Economics in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, recently wrote in a Catalyst NEJM article:

“I think the core characteristics of what it means to be a good physician will never change, and that means taking responsibility for your patient, really feeling that you are responsible for what happens to your patient, and not pointing fingers at someone else if something goes wrong. I think it’s important to develop and to maintain the necessary skills, so you need to be technically good as a physician and stay that way. And it’s critical, I think, to listen to people, and to be empathetic, and to really care about them.”

Personally, I enjoy my work as a practicing physician taking care of patients; I enjoy being a teacher of medical student residents, nurses and other health professionals; I enjoy helping physicians recognize and develop their leadership talents; I enjoy being a leader in our medical community and help influence other physicians in the practice of good medicine; I enjoy being a physician!

As Physicians, not just providers of care, we must continue to work together as a respected voice to best serve the healthcare needs of our community. CCMS is that voice We as physician must speak out and join the debate that is changing and influencing our practice of medicine.  We must get into the game and pitch. Standing on the side lines is not an option anymore; we cannot allow governmental, institutional   and regulatory bodies make decisions on the evolution of medicine without our strong and educated input.

Finally, we as doctors must have a balanced life and to care for ourselves and our  families as well as for others. In sum, we want doctors to be happy and healthy, caring and competent, and good travel companions for our families through the journey we call life.  Unfortunately, we do not have a magic lamp, and there is no genie. We must use our own skills and endeavors to make the good doctors we want and need. It is an awesome responsibility.

I thank the CCMS for this PRESTIGOUS and outstanding award .

I thank you as members in supporting your society.


James V. Talano, MD, MM, FACC

May 19, 2018