We are heading into a new academic year, awaiting the arrival of the class of 2016. The months of April to June, the “post-match, pre-orientation lull” as we call it in our program, is a time that many PD's have just a little more breathing room to plan for the new academic year and initiate new projects in their programs. This year, I want to make the theme of our organization, and indeed our specialty, to be collaboration. Collaboration is a simple word really - with two roots "Co-" meaning together, and "labor" - meaning, you guessed it, work. My question to you is: How can we work together to make one of those projects move our specialty and organization forward, and at the same time make our lives easier and better at our home programs? So what does this mean practically? Is there a meaningful way for us to collaborate? Is effort going to be worth it?
Let's look at 4 things you can do this next year that will change your life as a PD.
- Can your program add to the advocacy work we are pursuing through the CAN (CAFM advocacy network)? - more support will equal better funding for family medicine throughout the continuum of education and practice.
- Will ONE of your faculty submit a presentation proposal to the Residency Curriculum Resource as an academic project? If so, we can tackle this huge project in just a year.
- Will you submit data to the RPI survey to make that data set more robust and to see how your program is measuring up on the quality scale? Knowing where you stand will help you improve.
- Will you plan on sending your associate director to this year's NIPDD class to strengthen the leadership and skill set in your program? Developing the next generation of leaders is critical for our specialty.
All of the options lay before us and it takes only a decision on your part to make it happen. Some of these things take only a little bit of extra effort but the payback will be enormous. True collaboration may seem insurmountable, yet facing our work alone is daunting for each of us and it is not the way things should be. It is time to work together. It is time to collaborate within your city, your state and across our country. If we pull this off, we will set a tone of leadership, vision and I dare say, hope, that will attract the best young physicians into our specialty to carry on our work into the future. I hope our days of working alone are over. It’s up to you.
Michael Tuggy, MD