|Letter from the President - May 1st, 2013|
Dear Members, Colleagues and Friends,
It has been my pleasure to serve as the president of the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) this past year. Our annual meeting in April marked the culmination of a highly productive and successful year for APSA’s Executive Council. Over the past 12 months, we launched a number of new and exciting initiatives and expanded on existing efforts as we continue to strive to fulfill our mission of serving the needs of physician-scientists in training.
In 2012, I stood before a room of APSA institutional representatives where I shared with you my five-pronged strategic vision for this past year: increasing membership, increasing visibility, increasing partnerships, increasing funding base, and increasing member benefits. With the help of the excellent Executive Council that you elected, we were able to make strides in all of those areas.
Over the past year, APSA witnessed a 30% increase in its membership, largely driven by a significant expansion of our institutional membership initiative. As part of this effort, 15 medical schools purchased bulk memberships for their trainees, MD and MD-PhD students, adding nearly an additional 500 physician-scientists in training to our ranks. APSA also continues to be represented in more than 90% of U.S. medical schools through our institutional representatives, and we are continuously striving to increase our representation to reach all physician-scientist training programs. This past year, we also launched undergraduate and resident membership initiatives and added representation of those groups to our Executive Council in an effort to better serve the needs and interests of members at those stages of training.
APSA had a very successful year planning meetings and events for our members. In the fall, APSA organized three regional meetings graciously hosted by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. These meetings attracted more than 500 trainees including more than 120 undergraduate students that were exposed to the prospect of becoming physician-scientists. I would like to personally thank the local planning committees who helped make these meetings a success and especially everyone who attended and provided us with feedback that is critical to our continual improvements in programming.
In November, APSA launched a new website offering improved resources and benefits to our members. Through newly added features, members now have access to interest groups providing mentorship and advice from leading physician-scientists in different specialties and stages of training. Furthermore, as part of a new social media campaign, APSA now provides members with timely alerts on cutting-edge scientific news through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Over the past three months, our accounts have been reaching an average of 3,000 followers weekly and the number of followers is continuously increasing. In another effort to increase our support of member research, APSA was also present at a number of local medical student research days and awarded APSA research prizes for best posters and presentations by physician-scientists in training.
On the advocacy front, the APSA policy committee remains busy collecting data from you as we aim to contribute data-based policy recommendations to advocate on your behalf and fill existing gaps in your training needs. In the past twelve months, APSA analyzed data from our Tomorrow’s Physician Survey that more than 1,000 of you responded to in its pilot phase. Our results and recommendations were presented at the 2012 AAMC annual meeting, the 2012 ASHE annual conference, the 2012 AMA interim meeting, the 2013 ACTS meeting, as well as the 2013 AMWA annual meeting. The national phase of this initiative is in progress and I would encourage all of you to respond to the survey and make your voice heard.
APSA spent this year creating and fostering relationships with specialty societies in response to your feedback on this area over the past few years. APSA continues to enjoy strong ties with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). APSA also created a strong partnership with the Radiological Society of Northern American (RSNA). This past year marked the inaugural annual selection of two APSA medical student members to participate in the RSNA Introduction to Academic Radiology (ITAR) Program, a program previously only open to radiology residents. APSA continues to seek partnerships with other specialty societies. You will be hearing from a number of these societies during our business meeting this year.
This year marked another milestone for APSA with the preparation and application for competitive renewal of the NIH funding that supports APSA’s live programming. APSA also had a successful year on the fundraising front collecting more than $25,000 in private donations. It is our hope to build on our success in this area over the coming year as APSA continues to expand. This year, we acknowledged the involvement of an APSA member, DylanDodd, who made tremendous contributions to these efforts through the inaugural conferral of the President’s Service Award during the opening reception at the annual meeting.
As I end my presidency year, I would like to thank the 2012-2013 Executive Council, standing committees, institutional representatives, local APSA chapters and APSA members for contributing to a very successful year. I am confident that APSA will continue to grow and enjoy further successes under the leadership of Evan Noch over the coming year.
To end, I would like to take this letter as an opportunity to invite you to get involved in our various committees and initiatives. APSA was created by trainees and for trainees and it is through your involvement, contribution, and input that it can flourish and better serve your needs.