A Word from the President
The College continues to evolve as part of the Vision 2020 plan. Improvement in our educational efforts, including the Annual Scientific Meeting, is a part of that ongoing evolution. After our very successful 2015 Annual Meeting, the 2016 Program Committee is well on its way in planning for the meeting in San Francisco. The theme for next year’s meeting is Practice Advancement: New Times, New Treatments, New standards. Now is the time to submit ideas for next year’s educational sessions to the Program Committee.
The title of my last President’s column for College Insider comes from the song “Box of Rain” written by the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh reflecting on his father’s life. All of us have had the experience of anticipating, planning, and going to an event or on a trip, and then having it pass by in the blink of an eye. This has been that sort of year for me. In my first column as College president, I discussed what it means to be a “practicing allergists/immunologist” and described treating a young man with tree nut allergy who walked in off of the street in the midst of an anaphylactic episode. This past week I diagnosed a young man with alpha gal triggered anaphylaxis that had gone undiagnosed for nearly a year, despite being seen by several urgent care, several emergency departments, and primary care physicians. This is what makes me proud to be an allergist, knowing that we do make a difference for our patients every day in our practices.
By the time you’re reading this, it will have been at least 96 hours since ICD-10 went into effect. The fact you ARE reading this means that the world did not end, your email still works and your computer/smart phone/tablet did not explode. Hopefully, you’re in recovery mode and realizing that life goes on after ICD-9.
I talked to many of our members and non-allergist colleagues over the past several months about this change. I can't recall anything in my nearly 40 years in medicine that has caused more anxiety, outside of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. ICD-10, along with EHRs, PQRS, and Meaningful Use, has come to represent the accumulation of everything that is seen as pulling us away from patient care to increasingly becoming transcribers of data for some distant bureaucracy to track our performance.
One definition of “college” is a “group of colleagues with similar interests whose goal is to provide educational opportunities in a specific area.” Your College is doing just that. You’ve seen over the past year the transformational changes brought about by our Vision 2020 initiative. When Vision 2020 launched, we committed to increasing our education offerings and engaging members in shaping the future of the College. With the reorganizational structure, the Education Council, chaired by Dana Wallace, MD, FACAAI, brings together the following committees who spearhead the College’s educational efforts: