Board of Governors: I will not take these things for granted 2018

December 2017/January 2018 – Vol. 36, No. 11

Flowers in the garden
Laughter in the hall
Children in the park
I will not take these things for granted
—Toad the Wet Sprocket

Susan R. Cordes, MD
Chair, BOG Legislative Affairs Committee

Devastating hurricanes, mass shootings, rampant wildfires. Such tragedies naturally cause one to take pause and reassess priorities. It is easy to take for granted the hard work and dedication that others devote to making everyone’s lives better and safer. It is also easy to take for granted what countless individuals in the Academy do every day on our behalf to make our patients safer, our practices healthier, and keep our specialty advancing. Anyone who has been involved in leadership or committee work for the Academy can appreciate the amount of time, talent, and treasure that our otolaryngologist colleagues volunteer to help keep the Academy functioning. And this is added to the work of full-time Academy staff, whose dedication is unequaled.

Evening conference calls, weekend meetings and conferences, and many hours above and beyond patient care are all par for the course. So why would anyone want to take on this challenge? There are many reasons that being involved in the Academy can be highly rewarding. Here are just a few.

Impact. As physicians, we are accustomed to making a meaningful impact on people’s lives every day. By working on behalf of the greater otolaryngology community or advocating for patients on a state or national level, it is possible to make that impact exponentially greater and benefit our colleagues and patients across the globe.

Giving Back. In spite of the many challenges that we face in the healthcare environment today, physicians are fortunate. We are intelligent and talented. We have secure jobs. We are respected. We have a good quality of life. In appreciation for those who have contributed to making our profession so successful, Academy service is a way to give back to our specialty.

Professional Satisfaction. Throughout our lives, we have been coached to be “well-rounded.” It was not enough to be the smartest or the most talented in just one area. Likewise, in our professional lives, it is far more satisfying to have a well-rounded career that goes beyond patient care. That may include community service, humanitarian work, and/or service to the Academy.

Networking. Networking can carry the connotation of making connections to attain advancement in one’s career, but in the case of Academy service, networking means integrating into the greater otolaryngology community. Over the course of meetings and conference calls, it is only natural to get to know colleagues across the country and around the world, which is satisfying professionally and personally.

Saving the best for last … Fun. Work does not seem like work when we are having fun. Being on a committee or in a leadership position is fun. It is enjoyable to connect with colleagues, share stories, laugh together, and support each other.

It doesn’t have to take a tragedy to take a step back and appreciate what we have.

Do not take these things for granted.