Today marks my first full day as ACC president. In this role, I am preceded by a long list of impressive cardiologists – Groedel, Fisch, Glover and Goebling, to name the first four beginning at ACC’s start in 1949. All cardiovascular professionals share this common heritage in our cardiology history, making us family in a sense. But our family is bigger than our history, because it includes our patients and the people who have been, or will be, touched in some way with heart disease.
Over the next year, it will be up to me and other ACC leaders to address that doubts I’m sure most of us in the cardiology family share about the future. Among others, these include: how will our practice survive; what will happen with subspecialty boards; what will health care reform bring? In addition, I plan to focus my upcoming presidential year on education and science – the pillars that make the cardiovascular profession exhilarating, challenging, rewarding, and allow us to make a profound difference in the lives of our most precious stakeholders: our patients and their families. It’s up to us, with ACC’s help, to interweave our practice of medicine with our patients, joined at the hip like conjoined twins. It is up to us to shape this future.
I closed my speech last night with the following except from Lawrence of Arabia, and I will do so again here as a reminder to live life, and practice cardiology, with passion and joy and wonderment. I challenge all of you to dream wildly with your eyes open and make your dreams come true.
"All men dream: but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was a vanity:
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
For they may act their dreams out with open eyes, to make it possible.
...This I did."
*** Image: ACC’s Founders Plaque ***