President's Perspective April 2016
Don't Mistake Activity for Achievement
Sean T. Grambart, DPM, FACFAS
Basketball has always been an important part of my life. I started playing in third grade and played consistently until about four years ago when I realized I was becoming one of those guys” whom I used to laugh at for continuing to play with the “younger ball players” despite the game telling them it was time to walk away. Since I stopped playing, I have been able to coach my son’s team. As their coach, I’ve stressed the importance of teamwork, dedication and commitment to the team. Passing these life lessons down to my young team is important to me as I’ve carried these lessons with me through the years thanks to UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.
I anticipate many of my President’s Perspectives will be based on some of the teachings and quotes of Coach Wooden. He is one of the most-celebrated basketball coaches of all time with a .808 winning percentage; ten national championships in 12 years, including seven in a row; and an 88-game consecutive winning streak, just to name a few of his many achievements. Despite his basketball accomplishments, it is his view on life that has affected people in and out of the world of basketball. Many of his philosophies and teachings are able to bring out the best in people and can be used in everyday life. One of his quotes that has always stuck with me is “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” This philosophy is one I hope to bring to ACFAS during the next year as president.
The College works hard on our behalf for the achievement of many goals benefiting the profession. While I see and hear it daily, it hit me a little differently as president. Recently, I was on a conference call with some of our most active members discussing the hurdles to get ankle privileges in the “final four” states. I am always amazed at the drive and passion our colleagues possess when it comes to advancing foot and ankle surgery, even when they are active with lobbying government officials and trying to push through all the bureaucracy. While they are extremely active and have had ACFAS’ help, these final four states have not yet achieved their final goal. As the College, we have a responsibility to continue to aid our colleagues in these states to achieve this important goal for the profession.
Another area where our activities can find achievement is in outcome studies. While we have many members actively performing high-quality research, we still need to achieve the outcome studies that will be required in the future. Outcome studies will drive future trends in healthcare policy and reimbursement, and we need to be key players in determining these policies.
While activities are always at hand, the College has recently posted some outstanding achievements. A few examples: Our recent Annual Scientific Conference in Austin was unprecedented. We broke attendance records three weeks before the event and also had the highest number of “walk-in” registrations on record. The College will also soon achieve its entrée into electronic publishing when the new Arthroscopy e-book becomes available this spring. Two more e-books will soon follow on orthobiologics and trauma.
Yes, Coach Wooden, we know the difference between activity and achievement. That’s what’s made ACFAS the home of proven leaders for nearly 75 years. And I am confident there will be no mistaking our achievements in the next year and beyond.