Well, here it is?3 o'clock in the morning. The movers will be here to pack in just a few hours. I still have things I need to find to make sure they don't get packed, but instead I am writing this message to you. Well, that is what life was like sometimes as your Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees. There just are not enough hours in the day. I truly do not know how board members can maintain a clinical practice during their term of service. Just triaging AMA-related email takes half the day, everyday. Add in board meetings, telephone conferences, appearances, interviews, and the occasional speech, and who has time for fellowship and a family? Without the expert help of the AMA board staff it could not be accomplished.
I particularly need to thank my 2 executive administrators, Karen Kowalik and Susan Dudek, who helped keep me on track. My family and fellowship program colleagues also deserve many thanks. Although they were not always happy with my frequent absence from home and office, they always did afford me the time to do the job. I can only imagine what life on the board was like in previous years. I am thankful that Dr William Plested, while chair of the board, instituted a system of board subcommittees and task forces to divide and conquer the workload. This system has been wisely retained by subsequent chairpersons.
Nonetheless, the 2-year term has flown by. Though not the Peace Corps, this was for me "the toughest job you'll ever love," in terms of time commitment, and the depth and breadth of knowledge to be assimilated regarding the American health care delivery system. Trust me, all you needed to learn about medicine was not learned in kindergarten or medical school. I have found value in AMA membership since my first days in medical school, but it is only now, as I transition from postgraduate training to practice that I am starting to see the tremendous value AMA membership offers.
I encourage each of you to continue your membership throughout your careers. As you discover new AMA membership values, share your discoveries with your colleagues. Encourage them, and invite them to join. They, too, will see that the advocacy and value-added resources that the AMA provides to its members are as important as each individual membership is to the AMAas a whole—together we are stronger.
I am proud to have served you on the board these past 2 years. It has been a time of great change and great success for the AMA. The financial picture of the AMA has never been stronger. I hope that years of membership decline will end this year; we are already seeing increased membership in the full-and partial-dues-paying active physician segment.
We have a new brand. We are investing in our brand with a positive media campaign to capture the hearts of patients across the United States and all the doctors who serve them. AMAstaff has readily adopted our new AMA member-centered focus, and we have committed to investing heavily in a new information technology infrastructure, which will facilitate developing and maintaining what should be a lifelong relationship with our members. No one individual can claim credit for any of the above.
AMNews, AMA Voice
Our membership actively participates through Member Connect® surveys. The House of Delegates, with our members, guides the board and the AMAstaff in setting our focused AMAHealth Care Advocacy Agenda. Our Washington staff continues to lead the charge on the hill, advocating for our patients and the doctors who serve them. The board has been traveling throughout the country hosting Member Connect® roundtables, and is working with councils and staff to seek additional ways to increase member involvement. Changes in , and the addition of Member Connect ® online are serving to increase the value of AMAcommunications to our members, by communicating with members in the ways they have told us they want. The anticipated completion and roll-out of our new "customer relations management" software, in addition to all the above, will provide full integration of the 3 membership pillars—advocacy, involvement, and communications—in a customized fashion for each member.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as your RFS member of the AMA Board of Trustees. I am honored to yield my seat on the board to the greatly capable hands of Dr Samantha Cramoy. Please call upon her with your ideas, issues, comments, and suggestions. The thoughts and opinions of the AMA-RFS will be invaluable to her, the board, and the membership of the AMA, in shaping the future of our AMA.
I look forward to seeing all of you in the Young Physician Section.
Kevin C. Reilly, Sr,MD
Former RFS member of the AMA
Board of Trustees
AMA member since 1994
Dr Reilly has been assigned to serve soldiers, their family members, and military retirees as a radiologist at Ireland Army Community Hospital, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Correspondence may be sent to this address:
MAJ(P) Kevin C. Reilly, Sr, USA MC
Ireland Army Community Hospital
Department of Radiology
851 Ireland Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40121-5520