Message from KMAA 2019-2020 President
Nancy C. Swikert, M.D.
Medicine is changing now more than ever. Technology has opened up new doors and pathways to connect, as well as treat diseases. Just as Medicine is changing, so are the volunteer organizations connected with the House of Medicine. This is true in both physician driven organizations (AMA, KMA, AAFP, SMA, etc) as well as spouse driven organizations (AMA Alliance, KMA Alliance, etc). Also, high on the list are issues like burnout, quality family life, wellness, debt reduction, etc.
So, what does this all mean? It means that the way things were done in the past, don’t and can’t be applied to this new future. Much like the hand carved furniture became mass-produced, so changes must occur in the medical profession to adapt to new ways. Gone are the long training hours and work hours with very little time at home or time to stay healthy or do charity work, etc. Gone are the volunteer organizations with lots of committees, long face to face meetings, working many years to rise in leadership, etc.
Human nature is to resist change. Most people are very uncomfortable with change, so they just continue on down the same path as always.
But, that won’t work with today’s medical workforce or today’s volunteer groups. Today the focus is on single projects that bring reward or meaning to quality of life, charitable events, family focus, wellness, etc. Social media is being utilized as never before (Face book, twitter, LinkedIn, instagram, Google plus, etc). We have to change or we will be left standing alone in the dust.
But some things that have never gone out of sync are telling stories to make things come alive or using face to face with podcasts. Look at websites today, they are constantly changing information, putting out snippets of news, promoting healthy events, charity, wellness and more.
This is the path of the new KMA Alliance. This is where we need to go. This is the goal to survival. It will have to start on the county level and gradually with time, move into the state level. We are lucky in that our national AMA Alliance saw this coming and already in on the path enjoying success and increased fulfillment.
So, how do we get there? Well, we get there by one step at a time, over and over. We get there by not being afraid to try something new, letting go of something that doesn’t work anymore, delegating not dictating, and trying to make the transition work instead of throwing up road blocks. We need to think outside the box. Lets focus this year on more stories in the counties of peers who give back to the community. Lets have more social events, more focus on wellness, both of the individual as well as the family. Lets focus more on “us” and less on “me”.
The KMA Alliance is here. We are struggling much like you. The KMA Alliance wants to be there tomorrow. We are willing to change. We are willing to let go of baggage. Lets work together to get this started. The KMA Alliance needs your ideas and hopes. Please help us continue to make a difference in the community around us. Please stay with us through the changes, giving us advice and direction. It takes all of us to survive. The future is in OUR hands; lets mold it right.
Nancy Swikert, M.D.
Immediate Past President