The recent College Leadership Summit: Generation Next brought together 22 members in early years of practice to gain new skills, share ideas and map their pathways to leadership. The one-and-a-half day program was highly interactive and tailored to the participants’ needs based on information gathered from their applications. The goal of the Summit was to provide our young leaders with practical tools and insights they can easily apply in their practice; and importantly, inspire them to drive the future of the specialty.
As stated by one participant, Meagan Shepherd, MD, FACAAI, in her reflections on the event, the Summit helped her “feel more confident in [her] interactions with colleagues, staff, students and residents,” and empowered her to believe she can “effect change as an allergist.” Feedback from other participants echoed these sentiments and reassured us we’re on the right track.
It is worth noting nearly all Summit participants are taking an active role in the work of the College. Many are already serving on committees, some as chairs and vice chairs, and more will be appointed for two-year terms beginning this November. The following are a few additional highlights on how some of the Summit participants are contributing:
- Meagan Shepherd, MD, FACAAI, who began her involvement as a FIT representative to the Board of Regents, chairs the New Allergists Committee and the Membership Council and serves as vice chair on the Member Website Committee. She is also the College’s representative for the BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) Association’s Evidence Street program – a collaborative effort between BCBS and medical societies focused on the development of guidelines related to coverage of treatment.
- Purvi Parikh, MD, chairs the Billing & Coding Committee and serves on the Advocacy Council. She was one of seven College members who joined the Strike Force for meetings with policy makers in Washington, D.C., underscoring issues of importance for practicing allergists. She also serves as the College representative on the American College of Physicians Council of Specialty Societies.
- Marisa Shams, MD, serves on the Dermatology Committee, Integrative Medicine Committee and the Advocacy Council. She is also the College’s representative to the American Medical Association’s Young Physicians Section.
- S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD, FACAAI, was selected to represent the College at the XXIV Annual Meeting of the Mexican College of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Pediatricians that will take place in Puebla, Mexico in July. He will give presentations on microbiota and eosinophilic esophagitis, and speak on the benefits of College membership.
We will continue to look for means to engage our young volunteer members and provide opportunities for their leadership. We have made a lot of great changes in recent years to make this happen, and it will be an important focus of our 2018-2020 strategic plan.