C. Scott Hultman, MD, MBA, FACS
"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
-Peter Drucker, inventor of modern management theory, mid-20th century
As we move into volatile times for our country and the world, there becomes a fierce urgency to proactively manage the future, through strategic innovation and long-range planning.
How does this impact ACAPS?
At no other point in health care delivery and education have we witnessed so much change. Within our field of plastic surgery, which is based on the core competency of innovation, technology and techniques are moving faster than we can implement them clinically. As educators, we also have the sacred responsibility of teaching the next generation of surgeons, not to be just technicians, but to become safe, competent physicians who remain professionals at all times, team members with good communication skills, and providers who nurture the physician-patient bond. In the end, we may not be able to solve the most complex of problems, but we must always provide hope and compassion, to those who are suffering.
With this perspective, I am pleased to report that the strategic plan that Dr. John Kitzmiller started last year, during his presidency, is thriving. We have an amazing board of directors and executive leadership team who are unequivocally committed to the goal of serving our members, the educators of plastic surgery. We focus on answering a simple question: how can we support and develop those teachers in plastic surgery who believe that education is paramount to optimizing patient safety, achieving excellence in outcomes, training our students to become successful surgeons, and developing the next generation of leaders?
Perhaps the most vital mission of ACAPS is to provide a platform for the dissemination of ideas. How do we take care of ourselves? How do we identify and reduce burnout? How do we build diverse teams? How do we teach our trainees about life-long, self-directed learning? How do we move the needle on the outcomes of our institutions? How do we improve access to care and correct disparities? I believe that teaching involves asking these questions. The answers are not obvious, but our efforts should include a search for solutions.
ACAPS has provided very comprehensive programming this past academic year, at the ASPS in the fall and at the ACAPS Winter Retreat, but our work is not finished. I invite you to join us for the Spring Retreat at the AAPS, as well as the business meeting, where we will feature members' papers, discussions on mentoring, and a panel on how to deal with the challenges we currently face, from GME funding to remediation of residents to faculty development.
This has been a great year for our organization, thanks to the past efforts by my predecessors, and next year will continue to be as dynamic, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Bentz. I am honored and humbled to have served as the ACAPS President this past year, and hopefully I have put a small dent in the universe of academic plastic surgery.