New Year’s resolutions: aspirational, constructive, and notoriously hard to keep. It is estimated that about half of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 10% are successful. Many of you have likely already broken at least one of your new year’s resolutions by now. Some were doomed from the start because they weren’t specific enough (“a goal, without a plan, is just a wish”), while others may have simply been too ambitious (working out for at least 90 minutes every day). Achieving a specific, attainable resolution requires it to become habitual, a part of who you are in 2023.
In preparation for the new year, I’m re-reading Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; the introductory chapters are as important as his descriptions of the habits themselves. More than resolutions, these habits constitute a framework for being effective individuals and organizations.
I resolve to have at least these two habits be on constant display for PIDS this year.
- Be proactive: Covey describes this as taking the initiative to respond positively and improve the situation. As we look at workforce challenges, both the numbers of trainees entering fellowship and our compensation disparities, we simply must be proactive. The PIDS Board of Directors will be addressing these issues at the January and March board meetings; while the precise path forward is not yet clear, we will keep you informed along the way. Meanwhile, be proactive locally; advocate for required rotations in pediatric ID or take a chance on a medical student or resident with little research experience. Let’s work on improving things at both our local and Society levels while remembering that we have one of the best professions on the planet and being grateful for the resources we have.
- Think win-win: Each of us could likely list a dozen areas of concern within pediatric healthcare. As we work to address these fundamental issues (more broadly and within our specific field), we must strive to maximize win-win situations, pursuing mutually beneficial solutions with our partners. Are we experiencing fewer ID consults because of a highly effective hospital medicine service? How do we seek a mutually beneficial course correction that increases consults without undermining the autonomy of our colleagues? Are we frustrated at lower compensation than some our colleagues in procedural specialties? How can we communicate effectively with hospital administrators and legislators about the value of pediatric ID, the cost savings we can provide the health system, and the importance of discovery to improving healthcare?
I’m excited about what 2023 has in store. Scratch that; that’s not how Covey would say it. He would say, I’m excited about our approach to 2023. Regardless of what comes our way, whether a worsening pandemic, different governmental leadership, or changes to healthcare overall, we resolve to be a Society that is proactive and in unwavering pursuit of win-win solutions to our deepest challenges.
There is much work to do. Together, we can defy the odds and keep the Society’s resolutions through to 2024.
Onward and upward.