As the year draws to a close, I hope that you all get the opportunity to spend time with your families and reflect on the past year with a spirit full of gratitude for all the great opportunities, and challenges, that it has brought your way!

We need both to sustain us, and even though the challenges may not be immediately welcomed and appreciated, it is how we continue to grow and develop in our lives. And we should take some time to be grateful for all the bounties that have been bestowed on us as accomplished Preventive Medicine physicians, living in the richest country in the history of the world.

Yet peace, even during this holiday season for much of the world, remains an elusive entity, as it continues to be conspicuously absent globally given the multiple violent conflicts raging across the world. Additionally, at home, we are only too acutely aware of the least amongst us who suffer the daily tribulations of being subjected to health inequities, social injustice and other types of ethnic and racial violence.

But we as ACPM Preventive Medicine physicians, whether as uniformed service members who carry the burden of keeping us safe from global threats, or as frontline physicians in the many varied settings in which we practice our craft – at community health centers, hospitals, academic centers or in industry – are constantly working to alleviate these burdens to help people live more prosperous lives.

We often wish one another a prosperous New Year, but true prosperity for all can only occur in a peaceful society. And while prosperity usually refers to financial abundance, we can also just as easily think of it in terms of health, happiness, education and environmental sustainability. So, prosperity can mean different things to different people, and while some may value material prosperity more than others, some may prefer to seek spiritual or personal growth instead.

These twin concepts of peace and prosperity are intimately intertwined with politics, and in 2024 we will have another Presidential election. These elections are a magical process, which as President Kennedy once remarked, was capable of transforming a retired Lieutenant in the Navy Reserve into becoming the Commander in Chief.

Politics, and especially elections, have consequences as we are often reminded, and sometimes with devastating outcomes. So, as we enter 2024 in less than two weeks, make sure you actively participate in the electoral process to make your voice heard in order to help make us a more peaceful and prosperous society, one that seeks to improve the health system in America to better care for all, particularly the least among us.

I will end where I started. My wish for you all this holiday season is that you take the time to be grateful for all the bounties you have, and that you get involved in the political process to elect the type of politicians you desire. I will also remind you to renew your membership in the ACPM and register for Preventive Medicine 2024, in order to strengthen our organization, even as you look to take some time off to rest and recharge with the hope for a more peaceful and prosperous New Year. Happy holidays!

Mirza I. Rahman
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