Board of Governors – All for one and one for all

February 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 1

Spencer C. Payne, MD
BOG Governance & Society Engagement
Committee Chair

2018 Leadership Forum Register Now

Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70
Spencer C. Payne, MD

Spencer C. Payne, MD

This may seem an odd quote by which to start an article in the Academy Bulletin, and many may wonder about its relevance. Perhaps it was my thinking about the parallels between the Academy’s Board of Governors (BOG) and Congress or my recent trip to New York City to see the musical “Hamilton.” More than likely it was a little bit of both that contributed to my sense of  its applicability.

The debate over state versus federal rights, which consumed a great deal of Alexander Hamilton’s writings, continues some 230 years later, and we see it touch the many aspects of healthcare delivery as well. Issues regarding medical licensure, scope of practice, malpractice tort law, and the quagmire of third-party payer systems are complicated by their state-by-state variances, making it difficult, though not impossible, to provide comprehensive national solutions. But how does a national organization whose vision is “empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care” bring about such solutions? The Board of Governors.

Having just celebrated its 35th birthday, the BOG was established in 1982 as the grassroots member network within the Academy, composed of representatives from the myriad local, state, and subspecialty otolaryngology societies across the United States and Canada. Through this portion of the Academy, the issues that seemingly may only affect the smaller constituencies can be brought forward for national attention. The Academy is vested in supporting these societies and providing bi-directional communication to facilitate their needs.

Next month, the Academy will host its annual Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting. For a second year in a row it will also host a State OTO Society Roundtable. Participants in last year’s roundtable remarked at how wonderful it was to come together to discuss common issues and unique solutions in furthering their own missions. This year’s meeting will provide nothing less!

Either directly or indirectly, I am aware that many identify with Mr. Hamilton’s words. Please allow me to re-emphasize how the BOG Spring Meeting is all about inclusion, advancement, partnership, and providing everyone a voice. Please come to Alexandria, VA, next month and spend a weekend among friends and engage!