At its October 2017 meeting, the ACEP Council elected John Rogers, MD, FACEP, of Macon, Georgia, as ACEP’s President-Elect. Dr. Rogers will assume the presidency at next year’s meeting in San Diego, California. He recently sat down with ACEP Now Medical Editor in Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, to share his views on the specialty and his goals as President-Elect. Here are some highlights from their conversation.
KK: You’ll be President next year during our 50th anniversary; what an exciting time, John. Can you share your thoughts on the Council election process?
JR: My observations on these elections are that they’re almost always very close, and it was again this year. The [President-Elect] candidates are all excellent. They’re all very skillful, knowledgeable, and have committed and dedicated themselves not only to the specialty, but the College for many years. I truly feel honored to have been elected. I hope it was because everyone felt that I was the right person for the job at this time. I did my best to convey that I possess the skills to do the job, especially during our 50th anniversary. Having experienced our wonderful specialty, going back decades to a time when residency training was very limited, and sharing the specialty’s core value today that the gold standard is exclusively residency training and board certification, I hope to help bridge generations of emergency physicians.
KK: It’s a rare situation for a President-Elect candidate to be elected their first year running. I don’t remember the last time that happened. You ran last year also and didn’t get elected. Why did the Council elect you this year?
JR: Many of the councilors don’t really know all of the candidates well. As a candidate for President- Elect, you have five minutes to talk to the Council, and then you have three sessions where you answer their questions. I think the first year is mainly an introduction. Then, the second year, they are a little more comfortable with you. I truly believe my message this year really resonated with people.
KK: For those who don’t know you, tell us about your background.
JR: I’ll start way back. I grew up in Iowa and got a swimming scholarship to a university in Ohio. I had every intention of becoming an architect. I spent two years in architecture and then came to realize that really wasn’t for me. I got introduced to the idea of medical school and came back home and went to a local college in Illinois, Augustana College. Ultimately, I attended medical school at the University of Iowa in 1974. The internal medicine department strongly recruited me, but I felt more in tune with the surgeons because of the type of work that they did, caring for the acutely ill and injured. They’re the ones that ran the emergency department back then. I did my first year at Iowa and then moved down to Georgia and completed my surgery training. From about 1979 on, I also began working in the emergency department independently as the attending, and I continued doing that throughout my career until about 1994 when I really was doing emergency medicine full time, following closure of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) practice track to board certification which occurred in 1988.