President's Perspective January 2013

Michelle ButterworthThere's No Place Like Home: A President's Perspective
By Michelle L. Butterworth, DPM, FACFAS, President

As my term as ACFAS President comes to an end, I am filled with mixed emotions — sadness, honor, excitement, and optimism. I am saddened that the flurry of activity and contact with so many of you will lessen, but honored to have served as President of the College, excited about our accomplishments, and very optimistic about our future.

At the beginning of my term as President, I asked myself, “What kind of impact am I going to have on the College and its members?” As I have said before and truly believe, I needed to ensure that the tradition of ACFAS excellence continued to grow. I am proud now to stand here and say that ACFAS has stayed true to its mission this year. We remain the preeminent source of knowledge for foot and ankle surgery and the foremost resource for the profession. Our educational endeavors have continued to be top notch, and they grow with recordbreaking attendance at our Annual Scientific Conference in San Antonio. They also boast increased regional programming, and sell-out, high-caliber, hands-on surgical skills courses.
Our focus on research has also accelerated with the continuation of our second multicenter research project and the presentation of two grant awards for original research. Our prestigious Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery also continues to expand and receive high accolades.
When I was installed as president last March, I said the College is like home to me. Home is not just a physical place; it’s a feeling of belonging, community, camaraderie and a place where one finds comfort and security. Home is a place where a group of people can work together to achieve a common goal. I have found all of these things in ACFAS and it’s why I consider the College my home.
Fortunately, my sentiments are shared by over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons who also call the College their home. Our home is unique because it is still the only national organization for podiatric surgeons that requires its members to be board certified or board qualified. This is the “ACFAS difference,” and is just one of the many reasons I am proud to call the College my home.
Home is also one’s residence during their formative years. Our future leaders will come from today’s 760 resident members and 1,350 student members – both at all-time highs. We are working hard to enhance both the pre-doctorate and post-doctorate education processes, including the development of a new Residency Task Force. This task force’s focus will be on resident education, residency program development, and services of residency directors. We will also use our liaison positions within the AACPM and COTH to help ensure top notch residency education.
In his novel “Cutting for Stone” Dr. Abraham Verghese (our 2012 annual conference keynote speaker), defines home as a place where you are wanted. Our increased focus on our young members proves that students and residents are wanted by ACFAS. We welcome you to our home of proven leaders and lifelong learners who change lives every day. And although this is a bit cliché, it is perfect to say, “mi casa, su casa!”
So, thank you for this opportunity to lead our College and help move our great profession forward. I am both honored and humbled to have served as your 61st President. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons will always be home to me; there is no comparison to ACFAS and its tradition of excellence. Truly, there is no place like home!
Questions for Dr. Butterworth? Write her at

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