Guest Post by Dr. Colette Mull, MD, MA: The Accidental Leader

Todd P Chang
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Todd P Chang

DIvisional Director for Research & Scholarship, Associate Fellowship Director, Division of Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Todd is the Director of Technology for the INSPIRE Network with David Kessler & Marc Auerbach. Todd was formerly the Faculty Advisor and Head Site Administrator for the website's predecessor, pemfellows.com. He lives in Pasadena, CA, with his partner and 2 ridiculous cats that are probably sitting on his head as you read this.
Todd P Chang
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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

-Nelson Mandela

The time is ripe for me to deepen my understanding of the sociopolitical environment in which I practice.  Confession: I am a news junkie so I happily allow myself to get bombarded on a daily basis by news; I subscribe to the cheapskate’s versions of the New York Times, the Huffington Post, CNN, and Medscape and am not ashamed to admit that the voices of NPR keep me company as I commute to work and fold laundry.  Doximity finally wore me down and I receive little essays from them on current medical events. AAP SmartBrief keeps me updated on the pressing news in Pediatrics. Professionally, I am merely an individual PEM provider; I am not a leader in any way, nor do I aspire to be. However, with the arrival and now the likely repeal of the ACA, I feel that my daily dose of news is superficial and my digestion of it too passive. With the advent of a new administration, it is time that I actively expand my knowledge base. It is time for me to intensify my critical analysis of differing viewpoints. It is time for me to join my PEM community in anticipating the national health care changes ahead of us and in making our voices heard so as to be a creative force in the changes that will directly impact our practice of medicine.

 

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So, besides my mundane life musings, what are these worrisome changes in medicine that keep me up at night?  Besides my nightly contemplation on how can my dog and my husband manage to snore in such perfect harmony, I want to know how my performance will be judged in the future. What metrics will my Division have to track? What local and national resources can I turn to for guidance and assistance? My Division is known in our region for excellent pediatric emergency and inpatient care, both at our children’s hospital and our affiliated community hospital. As I age, as community hospitals strive to deliver quality pediatric care both in the ED and the inpatient unit, and as providers of varying training backgrounds join my clinical team, how do the great thinkers on “pediatric readiness” foresee my colleagues and I  being able to maintain the clinical competency required for the provision of excellent care? Although I feel that I treat every patient equally, myriad social disparities change the health outcome of one patient vs. another. How can I, one individual PEM provider, advocate for those children affected by social disparities in order to return them to health – locally, nationally, and/or internationally? Finally, what about me? Here is another confession:  I am exhausted by the “patient satisfaction surveys”. I often feel more like I’m a server at a swanky restaurant than a physician in an emergency department. I want someone to be concerned about my satisfaction.  I want to acquire practical strategies to help my hospital value my health and my satisfaction, to help me maximize my personal resilience, and to enhance my vitality so that I can maintain excellence in the care I provide my patients. I want this for you too. At 2 am, I am grateful for the melatonin that allows me to escape these worries and overcome the snoring symphony.

 

St-Petersburg-Clearwater-178310So, when I accidentally (that’s a story for another day) signed up to lead the Planning Committee for the 2017 AAP Section on Emergency Medicine’s Leadership Development Conference, it was reassuring to find that my worries mirrored the top 5 challenges identified in a Section needs assessment of our PEM community. I was not alone and this Conference would become a platform from which our community could become a creative force in changes that would directly impact our practice of medicine. With this goal in mind, my Planning Committee and I invite you to join us in a conference, held every 5-7 years, designed to assist PEM providers, developing leaders, and established leaders learn about the challenges facing our subspecialty. We have joined forces with our pediatric hospital medicine colleagues to bring you a thought-provoking and interactive educational program in which 28 both renowned and new experts will share cutting-edge knowledge and innovative practices, discuss the pros and cons of the “breath-taking and sometimes incontinence-inducing” (credit goes to “you know who you are”) changes that are upon us, and empower us to create change instead of taking a back seat to it. Join me April 7-9, 2017 in St. Petersburg, FL for a front row seat to this forum on change!

Colette Mull, MD, MA, FAAP

 

Dr. Colette Mull, MD (A.I. Dupont Children's Hospital / Nemours)

Dr. Colette Mull, MD (A.I. Dupont Children’s Hospital / Nemours)

The early bird deadline is March 16.  For complete information and to register, visit shop.aap.org/ldc2017 or call toll-free 866/843-2271.

 

 

 

 

Todd P Chang

Todd P Chang

Todd is the Director of Technology for the INSPIRE Network with David Kessler & Marc Auerbach. Todd was formerly the Faculty Advisor and Head Site Administrator for the website's predecessor, pemfellows.com. He lives in Pasadena, CA, with his partner and 2 ridiculous cats that are probably sitting on his head as you read this.