Leadership & The Olympics: #AAFPWC14 Wrap-Up

Every time I go to a Family Medicine leadership meeting, I have a unique experience. This weekend was my first national committee meeting in eight years (wow, that's a while ago). So, I admit that I was actually nervous going into this. I mean, I was prepared, and I knew some people going into this. But, you always want to make a good first impression with new people, right?

Once the topics started being discussed and the ideas started flowing, all that initial anxiety goes away. The focus is clear: How can our organization and Family Medicine best help patients? It is so interesting hearing different solutions from physicians in different practice situations, from different parts of the country, and from different life experiences. The passion that these physicians have as they tell their stories - This is powerful.

I always enjoy meeting the Medical Students and Family Medicine Resident Physicians at meetings like this. They are so much more talented that I was at that age. They remind me of why I wanted to be a Family Physician with their energy and idealism.

Speaking of youth and energy, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi Russia are on the television as I write this essay. These athletes train for years to try to have an opportunity to compete in the Olympics. Of course, the goal is the winning of the goal medal. But, the journey of the competition makes it fun for these athletes.

Advocacy work and leadership can be thought of in the same way. My Family Medicine leadership journey began when I gave my first speech and ran for my first national leadership position more than 10 years ago. Since then, I feel that I have been sharpening my skills and gaining valuable experience to prepare me for my "olympic" moment - that once in a lifetime opportunity - that I will be ready for. And, why not have a little fun along the way!

What are your goals and dreams? Are you just hoping that they will happen, or are you taking active steps to try to make them a reality? Are you expanding your knowledge in that area? Are you networking with friends and colleagues to try to improve your skill set? How prepared are you for your potential "once-in-a-lifetime Olympic moment?" Take some proactive steps today!