President's Perspective Late December 2015

Richard Derner, DPM FACFAS

“There's no crying in baseball.” —A League of Their Own
Richard Derner, DPM, FACFAS
ACFAS President

As I write this, my final perspective column, I am attending the December arthroscopy course at the new Orthopaedic Learning Center. Around me are 50+ students, including board-certified, qualified and resident surgeons, as well as some of the best faculty members the College has to offer. In addition, some of our College staff are here, attending to our every need. Even our A/V producer is here, capturing some scenes for a video to be shown at the opening session of our February Annual Scientific Conference in Austin.

Looking around at all this talent under one roof reminds me of the College as a whole. More than 7,200 members in one organization—sharing and learning—exchanging ideas—pushing our profession further.

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with more than 200 committee volunteers shaping our profession’s future, plus 150 faculty who lead our education programs. There are also 100 JFAS section editors and peer reviewers who do yeoman’s work in producing our Journal. And soon, more than 1,400 surgeons will be under one roof at our Annual Scientific Conference with 200 exhibits, 800 exhibitors, 300 scientific posters and much more.

It has been a sincere honor presiding over this huge “team” that produces such great chemistry. Everyone played their part with brilliant expertise. Everyone worked together like a baseball team—where no one individual outshines another. My job has been merely to manage the team—to make the lineup and point to each position when it was time for them to contribute to the team. Without these players, the College would not get out of the batter’s box. We would not stir professional development. We would not improve patient care. I thank each and every volunteer for their role in our lineup, no matter how large or small the part.

Many times, members asked me what “my agenda” would be as president. My answer was always the same: It’s not “my agenda;” it’s the College’s agenda. Strategic and business plans are reviewed and tweaked at every board meeting, which keeps the board focused on mutually agreed upon plans of work—not knee-jerk reactions to personal agendas. And this past year, we conducted two in-depth member surveys that are frequently used to make “evidence-based” decisions about our future plans. Results from those surveys are already being used for our 2016 initiatives.

Thank you for allowing me this unique privilege. It has indeed been an extraordinary experience, and one of the proudest moments of my professional career. In a few weeks, I shall hand the “stick” to our next manager—the next president of our College, Sean T. Grambart, DPM, FACFAS. I know he will continue to implement the College’s progressive agenda as the presidents have done before me.

The College constantly strives to improve its programs and services—and this year is no exception. There are many more learning opportunities for our members both locally, via our “On the Road” programs, and nationally with our skills courses and the Scientific Conference. E-learning and podcasts are just a few more options for our members to gain additional insight into challenging problems.

Thank you for your continued support of the College. While we are always looking for home run hitters, in reality it’s the single hitters that drive in more runs and ultimately become the future leaders of our special profession.

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