Our presidential election
The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are just a couple of months away, and many of us have been riveted by the campaigns, debates, caucuses, and primary elections as the candidates declare who they are and what they can do for us and our country.
By Wendy B. Stern, MD, BOG Immediate Past Chair
The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are just a couple of months away, and many of us have been riveted by the campaigns, debates, caucuses, and primary elections as the candidates declare who they are and what they can do for us and our country. We all understand not only the big picture and significance that lies in the outcome of this presidential election, but also recognize the impact that it will have on healthcare.
I know most of our Members are committed to understanding the candidates, and will participate by voting in the upcoming national elections. I hope that everyone recognizes the parallel importance of our upcoming Academy elections. Like our national elections, whom we elect can make a difference.
The Board of Governors (BOG) serves as your grassroots voice. We represent your interests to our elected leadership through your BOG governors and representatives from your local, state, regional, and specialty societies. Our Academy oversees, influences, institutes, and regulates many behind-the-scenes efforts that impact your everyday ability to provide otolaryngological care. Whether it is the development of guidelines, responding to carrier or scope-of-practice issues, weighing in on the now-repealed SGR physician payment formula, addressing practice management issues, education, or mentoring residents and interns, the mission and strategic goals of our Academy affect us all. All of us have the opportunity to help shape our Academy by participating in the election of our Academy leaders, in addition to the many other volunteer opportunities.
I was privileged to recently serve on the Election Review Task Force, and I learned many interesting facts along the way. Our Academy is one of the most democratically organized national medical societies. Our Academy president, directors-at-large, and Members of the Nominating Committee and Audit Committee are voted into office by you. We have a well-defined system of campaigning to make the elections fair. We have a well-publicized election and easy access to voting. What was discouraging was learning how few of our Members actually vote (typically under 15 percent). Our participation rate is not very different from many other societies, but I know we can do better!
Why wouldn’t you want to help shape the single most important institution to your practice of otolaryngology? In order to do that, start by learning about our current candidates. The BOG traditionally hosts the AAO-HNS president-elect candidates during our spring General Assembly & Candidates Forum (open to the general membership) which is now an important part of the AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting. This past March, many of us gathered in Alexandria, VA, to listen to and meet the candidates. If you didn’t join us this year, come next year! I encourage everyone to read all of our candidates’ statements in this issue of the Bulletin and on our website.
Also, join in the Candidate Forum on ENTConnect! It’s an opportunity to ask the candidates how they would further the strategic goals and mission of the organization, or anything else that’s on your mind. Visit the annual election webpage for details on how you can submit your questions, www.entnet.org/content/annual-election.