Board of Governors: “I wish somebody would have told me … someday, these will be the good old days”

April 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 3

I might be the first Board of Governors (BOG) Executive Committee member to quote a rap artist in a Bulletin post, but these lyrics from the Macklemore/Kesha song capture my thoughts perfectly. The song is a nostalgic recollection of the artists’ memories and a wish that someone could have reminded them to enjoy “the magic of the good old days” as it was happening. As the daily chaos of work continues, I sometimes catch myself stopping to reflect on what I am doing. Every day we are asked to give just a little more, whether it is serving on a task force, participating in a research project, or joining a committee. Adding one more thing to our schedules means there is less time for ourselves and the potential of missing the moment or the good old days.

Samantha Anne, MD BOG Secretary

Samantha Anne, MD
BOG Secretary

I choose my work commitments and how I spend my time carefully. So why did I choose to serve on the BOG? Why do I serve on committees? Why did I attend the AAO-HNS/F 2018 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting? Why do I focus my career and research on pediatric hearing loss and speech delay? At the end of the day, the answer is simple: It matters to me.

Being on the BOG affords me the opportunity to learn, to influence the decisions that shape the Academy, and to benefit from a wealth of knowledge, experience, and mentorship of people around me. The BOG Spring Meeting serves the same purpose but with personal one-on-one interactions in a small meeting setting. I had the opportunity to hear from the candidates for President-Elect and ask them their thoughts on the vision for the Academy. I was able to participate in committee meetings, and I learned about the latest legislative and regulatory issues. Lastly, I was able to reconnect with friends and colleagues from across the country.

As we look forward to May and the arrival of spring, I am very excited for May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month. For me, here is another opportunity to do something meaningful and to make a difference in patients’ lives. The month is dedicated to “rais(ing) awareness about communication disorders and available treatment options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems speaking, understanding, or hearing.” There are many ways to support efforts, including speaking to local media about noise protection, meeting local pediatricians and/or schools to raise awareness about detection of hearing and speech disorders, or simply posting brochures (available on the AAO-HNS website: www.entnet.org/content/patient-health) in your clinic.

We all have choices regarding how we spend our time at work. I personally elect to spend my time participating in activities and advocating for issues that matter most to me. So when I look back, I know that I will have spent my time valuing what I do and cherishing these “good old days.”