President's Perspective June 2017

Laurence G. Rubin, DPM, FACFAS

The Structure Is Supported by the Foundation
Laurence G. Rubin, DPM, FACFAS
ACFAS President

In honor of the recent National Volunteer Month, I want to personally thank each of the hundreds of volunteers who give their time, expertise and resources to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) and to also reach out to those members who have not yet volunteered.

The profession of foot and ankle surgery is a structure we’ve created from podiatry—and the foundation of that structure is ACFAS. No other organization is more aligned with and supportive of our needs than the College. So, why is it that while many have stepped up to volunteer and have helped to reinforce that foundation, others are still hesitant to do so? It’s an unfortunate truth that there are too many of us who haven’t supported our profession. Each of us is challenged every day to prioritize the demands on our time with work, family and community—each vying for our attention. But remember, we can only grow if we all work together to support our structural foundation.

My own personal family motto has always been, you get what you give. I encourage each of you to visit acfas.org/volunteer to see how you can help support our foundation by volunteering. Some other suggestions:

  • In addition to committee service, we also ask for volunteers to serve on clinical consensus statement panels, and as regional division leaders and poster competition judges.
  • Reach out to a current or past volunteer about his or her experience, and you might be surprised to learn that you’ll “get” as much as you “give.”
  • Commit today to attend the next Annual Scientific meeting in Nashville, March 22–25, 2018. I promise if that’s your first step, it will not be your last.

We are all busy, but without you, there would not be an American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Still not convinced? Check out the Take a New Look at Foot & Ankle Surgeons public relations campaign at TakeANewLook.org. It’s aimed at nurse practitioners, diabetes educators and family physicians—explaining our unique training and board certification—and why they should trust us for referrals.

Another way you can help support the foundation is to publish in The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery before considering other journals. JFAS is the official publication of the College, and publishing in our journal should be members’ highest priority. You could also volunteer to review an article or encourage others to become official Peer Reviewers. Adding more members to our network also strengthens our publishing process and structure.

To help further solidify our foundation, we need to improve our research and publishing. ACFAS recently named a task force to foster more research through the College’s recognized Fellowships Program. I’d like to thank Thomas Roukis, DPM, PhD, FACFAS; Paul Kim, DPM, FACFAS; and Naohiro Shibuya, DPM, MS, FACFAS, for helping to lead this important endeavor. It is my hope that the fellowship directors will be supportive of this new initiative and will help take our research to the next level.

We all know what happens if you don’t take care of the foundation; after all, we make our livings dealing with “uncared for structures.” Remember, the many bricks we lay to support our profession will continue to build upon the strong foundation. It’s the foundation that supports the structure.

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