Executive Vice President & CEO’s Message

I’m so pleased that we will have an opportunity to discuss our newly proposed vision and mission statement for CMSS with you in November.  Dr. Hoyt led a great strategic planning discussion and we’re excited to consider a vision for CMSS with you.  We will spend time at our   reviewing our new direction and top priorities of quality, education and professional identity. We will look for your feedback on this new mission and your priorities for the coming year. Our budget forecast is very promising for the next year (more details below) and we are excited to prioritize CMSS initiatives that will meet your society’s needs.

Summit on the Future of Physician Learning and Improvement. Please join us for our upcoming Summit on Physician Learning and Improvement on November 15-16 in Arlington, VA. Physicians need practice-based learning and improvement that incorporates performance data, effective feedback strategies, and implementation approaches that can meaningfully drive improvement. As evidence and technology transform practice, we need to effectively use real-time evidence generation, performance assessment and feedback through clinical registries to drive learning and improvement. New technology and digital strategies such as simulation have the potential to transform how education is delivered and how care is assessed, delivered and improved.

Confirmed plenary speakers for the Summit include Catherine Lucey, MD, Vice Dean of Education, UCSF; Cliff Ko, MD, Director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the American College of Surgeons; Professor of Surgery and Health Services, UCLA; and Craig Campbell, MD, FRCPC, Director of Continuing Education, Royal College of Specialty Education. Please register and see the updated agenda here.

CMSS Annual Meeting. We are very excited to announce the plans for our 2018 Annual Meeting. As mentioned above, we will roll out our draft vision and mission statement for your consideration. We have listened to your concerns about the meeting format and we will not have a Saturday session. We have rearranged the meeting to run from an evening reception on November 15 through 4 p.m. on Friday, November 16. We have moved the CMSS Business Meeting to a breakfast meeting on November 16. Component groups will have lots of time for discussion, including CMSS’s new mission and priorities. We look forward to your feedback on this new schedule. I am pleased to announce that we will open with a very compelling speaker, Mr. Rolf Benirschke, a former NFL placekicker who has devoted his life to patient advocacy following an awe-inspiring return to professional sports after battling multiple surgeries for ulcerative colitis. He will most definitely set the tone for our meeting! We will also be joined by Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the who will provide a vision for the future of healthcare from her vantagepoint as the VA Deputy Undersecretary for Health. We will have a lunch presentation by Dr. Christopher Colenda, Chair of the Commission on the Future of Continuing Certification and President Emeritus, West Virginia University Health System and Cathy Rydell, Commission Member and CEO American Academy of Neurology on their draft findings.

New Association Management. After 10 years of a full-service association management arrangement with Bostrom, the Board supported a change to a hybrid management model. In May 2018, we released an RFP for association management services. CMSS member specialty societies that provide association management services to other organizations were offered the opportunity to respond to the RFP. We received three proposals that were reviewed by three members of the board and me (Dr. Hoyt was recused from the selection process). Following review of the proposals, the CMSS Board approved the selection of Association Management by the American College of Surgeons for a narrower set of management services, including meetings and finance. This change is intended as a multi-year transitional step toward a stand-alone organizational arrangement for CMSS. The overall cost savings for 2019 and 2020 with Association Management by ACS will be substantial. The roll-out of the new strategic plan should ensure that we spend CMSS resources on the initiatives most important to our member societies. Heidi Lapka and her amazing staff will support us through our meetings in 2018. At our annual meeting, please join me in thanking them for their remarkable service to CMSS!

Component Groups. Our newest Component Group for Managing Editors of society-sponsored journals has launched, and they are working to prioritize focused areas for collaboration. Please let me know if your managing editor would like to participate. We have formed a small group of Component Group chairs who are working with me to standardize the structure and expectations for our component groups.  We are also surveying Component Group chairs to identify the infrastructure needs that we plan to fill in the coming year.

Continuing Board Certification. I am closely tracking the work of the Commission on the Future of Continuing Board Certification. We will have a presentation from the Commission’s leadership at our Annual Meeting and discussion in our CEO Component Group to follow. The draft Commission report expected in November 2018 will be open for comment before a final report to ABMS in February 2019.

National Academy of Medicine Opioid Collaborative. I am serving on the steering committee of this new two-year NAM Opioid collaborative. At the first meeting, I presented on specialty society efforts to align opioid-related guidelines and consider evidence gaps that limit effective use of prescribing guidelines. I have facilitated CMSS member society engagement in the newly forming workgroups.   Please let me know if you need any further information on the collaborative.

CMSS Task Force on Equity in Compensation and Career Advancement. A planning committee of specialty society leaders has been working with me to finalize a charge and timeline for a new board-approved CMSS Task Force on Equity in Compensation and Career Advancement. A specialty society CEO survey has been developed and will be fielded shortly. Potential areas of collaborative activity will focus on shared demographic data across specialty societies, standardized approach to compensation surveys for physicians, and tracking of career advancement opportunities across specialty societies. The task force will also encourage active sharing of promising practices across specialty societies to improve inclusion and advancement.

CMSS Task Force on Physician Burnout. The CMSS Task Force on Physician Burnout has been focused on identification of potential collaborative activities, including possible standardization of society surveys currently used to assess burnout. The CMSS Board has approved extending its two-year sponsorship of the National Academy of Medicine Collaborative on Physician Wellbeing and Resilience.

ACT for Better Diagnosis. CMSS and several member societies have joined the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis and CMSS is supporting ACT for Better Diagnosis, an initiative of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine that aims to improve the diagnostic process. I was a speaker at the ACT for Better Diagnosis launch event at the National Press Club. A CMSS task force to share specialty society efforts to improve diagnosis across the specialty societies is planned.

Helen Burstin, MD, MPH