President’s Message

“What’s Next?”

A phrase frequently uttered by the famous (but fictional) President of the United States, Josiah Bartlett. (Check out Wikipedia.) As I write my first article as this year’s president of the Obstetrical Society, that’s what comes into my mind. I think of two “what’s nexts”. First, what’s next for organizations like us who are struggling for membership. It appears to be less about paying the dues and more about finding the time to participate in one more meeting, even if online, while trying to get through another never-ending day. We, the leadership of the society, are committed to trying to make membership worth your time. To have meetings and programs that both educate and entertain or, if we’re really good, make you think about stuff. We are about to undertake a journey of reflection and reevaluation of who we are as a society and what we need to do in order to stay relevant. We must be relevant to survive.

The second “what’s next” is both more complicated and more troubling. As a provider (and I’m not saying doctor on purpose as I hope others read this), every week I wonder what are “they” going to do to me next. Will it be another assigned CBT? A confusing and user-unfriendly update to our EMR (or am I supposed to call it EHR – who can remember)? A new hospital protocol or rule that no one asks my opinion about but will affect how I do my job? Another screening I am expected to do in the already crowded annual gyn exam? Another medicine or test I prescribe for a patient that isn’t covered or requires the always fun recertification process? And so on and so on. My father, also a physician and my greatest mentor, once said to me that practicing medicine is the greatest profession there is, but the stuff that surrounds it is what makes life so difficult. Truer words were never spoken. For our meetings this year, I have chosen to avoid the standard lectures and try something new. In an effort to help navigate the nebulous “what’s next” for our profession, we are going to talk about the “stuff” that surrounds us and challenges us. I hope I have found speakers that will talk to you, instead of at you, and that you will find worthy of your time. Give us a chance.



Norman A. Brest, MD