The Academy is you

November 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 10
Spencer C. Payne, MD,  BOG Governance &  Society Engagement chair

Spencer C. Payne, MD, BOG Governance & Society Engagement chair

This month, we celebrate and thank the Members of the various AAO-HNS/F committees who have faithfully served over the past year. Originally defined as “the one to whom something has been entrusted,” the idea and implementation of “a committee” has evolved to comprise more than just the individual, but a larger group working as one. Though a search of the internet is replete with any number of less flattering definitions of the word, I can assure you that none of them would be an accurate portrayal of the pooled abilities of our Academy Members. And for this, I thank all the volunteer leaders who have worked tirelessly to advocate, educate, and administrate on our behalf.

This is not, however, just a time to  appreciate, but a time to encourage and  exhort. As we thank those who have served, we also open the doors for Academy  Members who have not yet held positions  to find their passions and commit to a cause! I have run across a number of more senior Members, young physicians, and residents who do not know how to get involved or  are discouraged if not selected. The fact  is that committee meetings are open to  all and decisions are made by those  who show up. By getting involved early, everyone benefits and grows through the comingling of different perspectives and visions. Whether it’s hearing health, rhinology education, medical devices, or even otolaryngologic history, there is a committee that can use you and that you can use to strengthen the Academy.

As the committee applications open up this month, I encourage you to also consider involvement with the Board of Governors (BOG) and its three committees: Governance & Society Engagement, Socioeconomic & Grassroots, and Legislative Affairs. As the grassroots organization within the Academy, the BOG is often tasked with interfacing on many of the issues that affect us as physicians and not just as otolaryngologists. Issues ranging from alternative payment models, to changes in insurance carrier policies, to scope of practice concerns, need to be addressed, and the BOG provides a home for this. If not through a committee, even serving as a local advocate (PROJECT 535) or a BOG Socioeconomic Grassroots regional representative can ensure the numbers needed to effect change.

Whether it is through networking, developing friendships and mentoring relationships, or strengthening the educational and research endeavors of the Academy, it is hard not to come away from any involvement on a committee without a serious sense of accomplishment. Additionally, the personal growth that comes from appreciating and working with other points of view to create more widely encompassing solutions is another of the many reasons I have been and continue to remain active in Academy committees.

I know from ENTConnect that many of you have found your voice, and many have asked “what is the Academy doing about this?” The answer is “the Academy is you!” Our BOG and AAO-HNS/F committees await your enthusiasm and engagement to help solve these many issues, and I look forward to seeing your names on the committee roster.