Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, encourages us to think about the purpose of a gathering by exploring the deeper why of gathering…. I encourage you to spend time thinking about the purpose of #SGIM23 for you. Ask yourself why you are here, what are you hoping to get out of #SGIM23, and how can you contribute.
As our 2023 meeting draws close, I am excited that we will gather to share ideas to meet the promise of tomorrow. Our 2023 annual meeting gives us an extraordinary opportunity to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other to advance our mission “to cultivate innovative educators, researchers and clinicians”1 and tackle the problems we face in all the settings where we work. This meeting starts my year as SGIM President, and I am especially looking forward to hearing from you about ways to advance our mission.
As a generalist society, we have many reasons to gather and interests to cover, such as: acute and chronic disease management, healthcare delivery, career development and wellness, medical education and scholarship, DEI and health equity, research skills, advocating for our patients and generalist care, and more—just look at the program! This may feel overwhelming with so many great sessions and not enough time to attend all of them, even in a focused area or interest. How do you decide?
Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters,2 encourages us to think about the purpose of a gathering by exploring the deeper why of gathering. I’ve missed only one meeting since joining SGIM, for the birth of my second son. I can say that one purpose of our annual meeting has been constant over the years—engaging and supporting each other and celebrating the achievements of our members. I am always energized by our meeting; connecting with friends, mentors, mentees; making new friends and colleagues; and being exposed to new ideas or ways of looking at an issue.
There are many other purposes in gathering at #SGIM23. I encourage you to spend time thinking about the purpose of this meeting for you. Ask yourself why you are here, what you are hoping to get out of the meeting, and how you can contribute. Show up with an intention not only to consume but also to participate and do the work. Come prepared and be ready to engage, listen, and learn. Bring a sense of curiosity and openness to the meeting. Take time to learn about someone you don’t know at workshops, poster sessions, or in the hallways. Welcome our residents and fellows and ask them about their interests and passions.
We are a diverse group, and it is our diversity that gives us strength and nurtures creative problem solving that will move us forward. What unites us is that we are academic general internists passionate about our work. Over this next year, I want us to think collectively about what it means to be an academic general internist, in any setting, and why our care is central to the health of patients and populations. We need to be better at articulating this message for our patients, policy makers, and trainees; and I need your help doing this.
My purpose for #SGIM23 is to meet and listen to you and our key committee and commission leaders to hear ideas, build collaborations, and develop strategies for moving SGIM’s work forward. We face wicked problems in general internal medicine. These are problems (e.g., payment reform, increasing under-represented minorities in the physician workforce, providing care to marginalized communities) that are difficult to solve, may not be fully understood, have many interdependencies, involve multiple stakeholders, and have no easy solutions.3
I remain committed to the priorities I set last year to address these challenges, and I need your help identifying and moving solutions forwards:
- Increase and support our “pipeline” of academic generalists especially those from under-represented minorities through outreach, support, and career development in our regions and at all career stages
- Leverage our leadership and resources through strategic partnerships with like-minded societies to speak out about the inequities in health care and strain on physicians and all healthcare workers
- Promote healthy workplaces through our wellness training programs and advocacy for organizational change to support high quality patient care and workforce wellness within institutions and with local, state, and federal policymakers.
- Keep SGIM on firm financial footing through the work of the Philanthropy Committee to assure that we can grow in ways to benefit members and keep the pipeline of general internists and leaders strong.
Enjoy our time together at #SGIM2023 and join me in working on these priorities! Get involved in one of our regional or national committees or work groups and join in the conversations on GIMConnect. We need each other to make progress on these priority areas.
- Society of General Internal Medicine. Vision and Values. https://www.sgim.org/about-us/vision–values. Published January 2022. Accessed April 15, 2023.
- Parker P. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters. New York: Random House; 2018.
- Conklin J. Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems. Chichester, England: Wiley; 2006.
Annual Meeting, Career Development, SGIM, Wellness
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