As I take over as Chair of the Section, I want to begin by reflecting on the many things that have happened over the past year, bringing us to where we are now. Through both enhancing our leadership structure to provide more opportunity and increasing involvement of medical student and fellowship trainees, we have grown. Though we have achieved a lot, we also have learned there is still a lot of work to be done. Despite technology, communication is as challenging as ever. Engaging our members, increasing numbers in our advocacy campaign, and developing more robust educational offerings to all of you have declared themselves as "pain points" that we must focus on. We have to get back to the basics and think about reaching each and every one of you- our Trainee members- while working to better meet your needs.
Fortunately, we just had the opportunity to renew our Section's 3-year Strategic Plan this year, which is the document that helps determine priorities and drive our growth. Many of our "pain points" were addressed and we found 6 overarching priorities: Communication, Advocacy, Education and Development, Member Engagement, Governance, and Operations. In our Strategic Plan Overview (which you can see on our collaboration site under Important Documents – AAP member login required), you can read more about each of these priorities and their objectives. In brief, our Strategic Plan promotes improved interactions, increased awareness, and broader presence of trainees both in the Academy and in each of your programs.
If it's not already evident, the next 3 years will prove to be busy, yet productive for us all. It is easy to lose focus, however. In the words of Sun Tzu, author of "Art of War", "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles… If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Who are we, as Pediatric Trainees, fighting? I propose that we are fighting four things- Apathy towards children, Misinformation regarding child health, Marginalization of children, and Underestimation of Pediatric Trainees. To help the cause, there are 3 overarching goals that I have for the year:
- Improve impact and reach of our advocacy campaign;
- Improve participation of medical students and fellows; and
- Improve transparency and communication between leaders and members.
We have already accomplished a significant amount, but have much more to do. We must unite as Trainees everywhere to fight apathy, misinformation, marginalization, and underestimation. I hope you will join me over the next year to improve our Section and, in turn, improve the health of children nationwide!
Charles "Trey" Williams, MD
Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees