The leaders on the Board start off telling you not to feel pressured, but the high standard they set makes you want to jump right in. Like it or not, the assignments and topics of ownership (ie, committee liaison and other project assignments) get dispensed early on, and you are now responsible to represent the Board and ACEP.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 09 – September 2015
The fire hose pressure is on high…We struggled to digest a 254-page informational agenda and another 219-page action item agenda to review for the April Board meeting.
Early in spring comes your advocacy schooling, a trip to Washington, D.C., to really understand the public policy and public affairs division of ACEP. When we say schooling, we mean it. The “gotcha” journalism team primes you for on-screen media events, while Gustavo Mottola, the Italian image consultant who works with ACEP during the Legislative Advocacy Conference, gives you a full dressing down with his critical but totally necessary fashion critique. If you remember you did this to help your patients and fellow emergency physicians, as well as to become a better physician, spokesperson, and overall person, you realize how much fun it really is.
The fire hose pressure is on high. We received approximately 1,500 emails in the first six months and struggled to digest a 254-page informational agenda and another 219-page action item agenda to review for the April Board meeting, weaved in between multiple conference calls, meetings, flights, etc. You spend hours wandering in airport parking lots, trying to remember where you parked this time. Of course, your clinical schedule hasn’t changed; you’re still doing the same number of clinical hours (days, nights, and weekends). Hopefully, you can catch a little time with the family this week (though with three teenaged girls at home, maybe the ED will be calmer).
You Find Your Footing
By midway through the first year, the most noticeable paradigm shift is that people seek you out. Mind you, it becomes somewhat easier to be found because the ACEP staff is the best in the business. However, you still pinch yourself some nights in Washington, D.C., during the Legislative Advocacy Conference and Leadership Summit when you realize the chair of such-and-such came to find you.
You get asked to visit chapters, residencies, and all sorts of congregations, and you quickly realize that the top-five issues in every group are the same, maybe in slightly different priority. When you keep your ears open, you actually hear more solutions than whining. The trick is to learn what is possible and which dreams haven’t yet matured to the level of Board action. There is no lack of spirit in our College membership, so every mountain is surmountable.