President's Perspective May 2016
Working with You
"Make sure the team members know they're working with you, not for you."—John Wooden, Basketball Hall of Fame Coach and Player
Sean T. Grambart, DPM, FACFAS
playing basketball, Coach Wooden’s quote makes sense: You are a member
of a team with a goal in mind—to win the game. But, when applying this
to our foot and ankle practices, it can be more difficult.
physician, you are expected to be the leader of the team and to provide
support to your nurses, medical assistants, front desk people, residents
and students when they have questions or concerns. When you are having a
good day in the office or OR, that is an easy thing to do. However,
we’ve all had those other days where everything seems to be heading in
the wrong direction. You are running an hour behind in the OR, you have
“that patient” on your clinic schedule who is going to take an hour just
to talk with him or her, the work list is growing faster than you can
imagine, and another person just showed up at the front desk demanding
to be seen today. These are the days that I can forget we are a team
working together and instead make my staff feel they are working for me.
I need to wallpaper my office with Coach Wooden’s quote as a daily
reminder that my office team and I are working together to achieve the
goal of the best patient care possible.
The same principle
behind Coach Wooden’s quote applies to the College. Every time the ACFAS
Board of Directors meets, it reaffirms that as an elected board, we are
working together with ACFAS members and staff to achieve the same
goals. The question is, “What are the goals of the ACFAS Team and how do
we achieve these goals?”
We needn’t look further than our ACFAS website and our Strategic Compass, which consists of:
To serve society as the preeminent source of knowledge for foot and ankle surgery.
To advance the competency of our members and the care of our patients.
And, to guide us in our vision and mission, we have our six strategic initiatives:
1. Deliver superior continuing medical education to enhance competency at every level of professional training.
Define and promote the specialty of foot and ankle surgery to patients,
government, the media and the healthcare community at large.
3. Advance scientific and clinical research to maintain leading-edge competency among our members.
4. Represent the specialty through public advocacy.
5. Improve the surgeon’s practice management expertise.
6. Employ strategic governance and adopt the best practices of medical association management.
And behind the strategic initiatives, our Business Plan has 200 tactics that our 15 committees address every year.
the ACFAS Board meets, we review the entire Strategic Compass,
including the Business Plan, to make sure we’re on course to achieve our
Mission and Vision. Outside consultants whom we use periodically always
comment on how well ACFAS uses its Strategic compass to help set goals
for the future.
But all this doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
YOU—our members—drive these strategic initiatives through our Practice,
Member and CME surveys, rotated every three years. We constantly tweak
the plan and tactics, based on survey input, to keep us in sync with
changing member needs.
For example, if the members rate an
item as important and they rate the College’s performance on that item
as poor, the large gap needs to be eliminated. The Board then refocuses
efforts to place more time, effort and finances on that goal to ensure
the College is achieving what our members want.
surveys, our members have reiterated to the Board how important it is to
define and promote the specialty of foot and ankle surgery to the
healthcare community. In response, the Board recently approved a $1.2
million dollar public relations campaign “Take a New Look at Foot and
Ankle Surgeons,” which focuses on building awareness of our specialty
among key referrers (nurse practitioners, family physicians and diabetes
educators) to encourage greater numbers of patient referrals to our
This is a great step for our team to achieve one of
its most sought-after goals, and I look forward to watching the
campaign unfold and seeing the results.
I encourage all our
members to take a step back and look not only at our own ACFAS team, but
also at your individual practice teams and remember Coach Wooden’s
quote. When we all work together as a team, great things can be
accomplished for us individually, as well as for the greater picture of
our patients and the future of our profession.