Reflections on being Re-elected President for another term...
“Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America
The above quote from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech came to mind when reflecting on my past two years as President. How does one galvanise our College of Radiology (CoR) members to actively participate in determining the future of their allied professions in Malaysia? How can we encourage more to join their professional body? Just how do we(collectively as the newly elected council) motivate, cajole or plainly jolt ourselves out of our placid and idyllic comfort zones?
In my many years in various roles on the CoR council, I have not ceased to hear new radiologists, oncologists and allied professionals question “what’s in it for me to join the CoR?” Can a handful of people in the council promote and advance the allied professions?
Much as I would like to think we can, in reality, our spectators who are expecting the miraculous transformations, the subsidised academic programmes, training, lobbying the government, providing solutions to turf issues will not materialise overnight. Human, financial resources and time factors play heavily as does commitment and contributions from every single member of the profession. The members themselves determine how strong and relevant the CoR is – not just a handful of members.
So with these in mind, our focus in this new term would be to follow through on our various projects – Practice guidelines/Quality Assurance Programmes/Safe Practice in Mammography (to include digital mammography), Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional Radiology as well as updating our CoR Position Statement on Whole Body CT Screening. Then, we probably need to market the value of belonging to a professional body. If members of the profession join the professional body, then the CoR can truly represent the various allied professions. We need to grow the membership!
Our financial health requires nurturing as our venture to purchase office space within the Academy of Medicine Building has set us back significantly. We do not have our own office space to house the Secretariat but have relied on the goodwill of University Malaya Medical Centre for the past 31 years! For that we are very grateful. Back to financial health, should we follow the model of sister organisations in established countries – actually encourage donations from members to run the Secretariat as well as programmes which are beneficial to us? A serious contemplation indeed.
Challenges – and we must embrace, face and overcome them one way or the other. The National Specialist Register, the transition of Nuclear Medicine as it evolves into a separate specialty, Continuing Professional Development being linked to a licence to practice or to be listed on the specialist register, organising scientific meetings and to top it off, our social and community efforts will definitely keep the council busy. We are co-opting more from amongst the members to form committees and subcommittees to oversee their own areas of development and sincerely hope they will be enthusiastic about their roles. Cumulatively, this will advanced the profession as a whole – thereby benefitting the patients/public.
We shall aim for “MISSION POSSIBLE” as the motto for the newly elected council. So, let us all get going, the council, the membership drive, the members and more!
Dr Evelyn HoPresident 2008-2010
College of Radiology
Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
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