From The President
Welcome to the first President’s Message of the year.
2017 has provided change both within District VI as well as on a national level. We always step into the new year looking ahead to what the future holds, however, we also seem to stop for some retrospection.
The Website is The Westerner and More
Embracing the changing landscape of electronic media is essential in this ever changing fast-paced time we call the present. WSOMS understands the need to stay current in the delivery of information to our members. Where we used to receive District VI news in the form of an annual printed newsletter, The Westerner, we can now enjoy monthly updates, expanded coverage, and contemporary, authoritative content any time day or night via this the WSOMS website.
Authoritative content any time, day or night.
Our executive director, Dr. Chuck Walter, has spearheaded the site’s redesign content guidelines. I empower all members, non-members, and the public to view it and learn what the WSOMS is about. One of its many new features is the capability of registering online for the annual meeting. The annual meeting will be on the Fourth of July holiday at The Montage Resort in Deer Valley, Utah. The Montage is a spectacular location for the meeting. I hope to see you all there.
Reflecting and Looking Ahead
As I reflect on the message I want to put forth to our members, I feel we have two concerns that lie ahead.
The first has to do with participatory membership within organized oral and maxillofacial surgery. As we see active participation dwindle at all levels, from local dental society meetings to national meetings, one must ask, “is it a change in the times? Is this the new norm?”
Is this the new norm?
At the current rate, only a fraction of the total number of surgeons are actively and routinely participating. These members are the only voices for the masses. Is this a representative sample of surgeons? We can only speculate what the others desire for their specialties. As many aspects of our practice are scrutinized from insurance companies, media, government, and patients, we must voice what we believe is the proper direction.
Anesthesia in the Cross-hairs
My second concern is a topic our District VI Trustee, Mark Egbert, wrote about in his recent editorial — that we are in the cross-hairs of at least two states for the way anesthesia is currently being delivered. This scrutiny brings us to question why we do what we do. Is this the best method of practice? These are concerns for all of us in District VI. Can we practice the way we have always practiced? Do we need to change our anesthesia methods?
These are concerns for all of us in District VI.
The Active Fraction will be the Voice
Consolidating these two concerns brings us to this: if the masses voluntarily provide no voice on these matters, then the active fraction will provide the voice. We can look at the problem, understand its origin, and continue to provide decades of safe, effective, cost limiting methods of anesthesia. We can be proud to defend it in front of anyone and everyone. I hope we can stay true to our methods, however, it is always instructive to listen to an opposing view.
The Change is Us
This requires all of District VI to alter our current mode of operation and actively participate. We are the change. By understanding our past, we can provide the right change, voicing our options to all who will listen. Those who feel we need separation of anesthesia and operator need to look no further than the hospitals in which we operate, seeing the morbidity and mortality present with separate providers.
This requires all of District VI to actively participate.
Thank-You Dr. Leighty
As each year passes, we need to pay tribute to those who have grandfathered our specialty, those who have carried the torch to the present, and those that will usher us into the future. In closing, I’d like to acknowledge the previous president of WSOMS, the late Dr. Steve Leighty. He is one who carried the torch, helping us to carry on. Sadly, he was never able to write his president’s message. I know it would have been great.