As ENDO 2017 winds down and we prepare to return to our laboratories, clinics, and educational institutions, we now need to focus on how to apply the lessons learned to continued growth and development of the Society, the endocrinology field, and improved care for the patients we serve.
The Endocrine Society has a number of strengths, including the enthusiasm of our members, our broadly-represented constituency, and a strong and dedicated staff. Those strengths will serve us well as we work to achieve the goals set forth in our Strategic Plan, including developing future leaders, finding the commonalities among our constituencies, and harmonizing global efforts with fellow endocrinology organizations around the globe.
Serving and Strengthening our Constituencies
To achieve our goals, our constituents must work together, with our basic and clinical scientists and physicians each supplying their own strengths and relying on the other groups for support and interaction. The demographics of the Society have evolved—we are more international and clinical—and we must find ways to satisfy and engage all members.
We must articulate guiding principles for exploiting opportunities and challenges as a unified profession, rather than focusing only on specific issues of the moment and any particular constituency. The potential strength of our tripartite nature becomes weakness if we do not understand others’ viewpoints, and if we cannot work together towards mutually beneficial outcomes. We need to probe the healthy tensions that arise between the groups to discover ways that we can move forward together.
A further challenge is that our groups are not monolithic; within each group, the needs of the international and US members, young and experienced members, and industry and academic members must be considered. Our opportunities are our challenges: we must meet more of the unique needs of each group while strengthening our commonalities.
Developing Future Leaders and Partners
To advance the endocrinology field and the Society, we must identify individuals with the capacity for leadership and then work to develop and strengthen that quality. We have begun asking the clinical and basic endocrine program directors, both in the United States and abroad, to identify recently graduated trainees to serve on Committees and Task Forces. Enhanced orientation and targeted training, such as the Global Leadership Academy held Friday, will help to educate the next generation of leaders.
Leadership, impact, and influence to drive health and science policy will be most effective globally if there is harmonization of efforts of all endocrinology and related groups. The Endocrine Society will prosper by working closely with both its national and international partners. Opportunities abound.
Members can learn from related fields—the greater context of biology provides new approaches for researchers, industry can educate academia, and limited resources in less-developed sister countries help define what is essential. Partnering clinicians and scientists moves new treatments forward, tangibly. Such collaborations produce ideas made real for the real world.
We are fostering an environment in the Society that is proactive, not reactive, that finds opportunities in challenge and exploits them.
As we embark on developing our next Strategic Plan, I invite you to send me your ideas about how the Endocrine Society can meet the challenges and opportunities ahead. I look forward to serving as your president during the next year.