As we enter a fresh academic year, I want to extend a warm welcome to the new preventive medicine residents and share a few thoughts about this very special time of the year.
I vividly remember July 2012, when I walked into the residents' room at Johns Hopkins on my first day as a preventive medicine trainee. I was filled with enthusiasm, hope and a deep commitment to the field. Convincing my parents, friends and mentors about the “unconventional” path I had chosen had been a two-year endeavor, and this new beginning I had been campaigning for was finally here! Each year, I celebrate the anniversary of that pivotal moment in my life and use the month of July as an opportunity for introspection and charting the course ahead.
New residents, mid-training residents, recent graduates and alumni of preventive medicine programs, we all share this anniversary in July. In recognition of this, I encourage each of you to take a moment to reflect on what led you to this point, your aspirations for the upcoming year and where you envision being on future anniversaries. For those in training, I want to emphasize that residency is a truly unique time. Think of this time as your playground; a place where you can explore, wonder, dream, experiment, stumble and rise again — all within a protected learning environment. Use this opportunity to ask yourself "what if?" and then strive to answer that question. Embrace rotations and experiences that may not align with your initial career plans, seek out mentors, build connections with like-minded individuals and engage with those who possess different perspectives. Developing these habits early on and adopting the mindset of a visionary, innovator and a systems-oriented physician will prove invaluable for your future endeavors in this inspiring field.
As you each set your course for the coming year, I urge you not to underestimate the importance of connection. I encourage you to reach out to new colleagues in our field, extend a message to a mentor you've been meaning to contact or invest extra time in strengthening relationships with those already in your network. If you can’t think of where to start, I welcome you to reach out to me (email@example.com) or Prasad Acharya (firstname.lastname@example.org) here on the ACPM Membership Committee. We would love to have your energy and passion as we work together to shape the future of preventive medicine and strengthen our professional home. Whether you’re interested in growing in your leadership, helping to connect members to each other, building strategies to grow our field, or engaging members and making a positive impact, I am confident we can find a place for you to shine and grow.
I wish you all good luck, and look forward to hearing about your experiences, achievements and aspirations at our next Preventive Medicine Annual Conference, April 18-21, 2024, in Washington, DC.
Tina Singh, MD, MPH, FACPM
Vice Chair, ACPM Membership Committee