As members of ACPM, we share a commitment to building healthier, more just communities through systems change. But transformation requires more than medical expertise — it demands courageous, unifying leadership and the ability to foster engaged communities ready to support change. This involves inspiring people to join the cause and bringing together diverse groups around a common vision.Our unique vantage point as preventive medicine physicians enables us to both inform and drive this needed change. We have extensive expertise in enhancing population health outcomes. We understand health holistically, connecting care to communities and policies to people. We have the opportunity to lead beyond healthcare.
While knowledge and expertise hold significant value, they are not enough to bring about meaningful change. To truly transform structures that fall short of our ideals, we need to develop our abilities to inspire, unite people and persist despite apathy or active resistance.
To drive broader change, we must refine a somewhat elusive and multi-faceted set of skills — leadership at its core. Many of us find our formal training didn’t emphasize these critical capabilities, highlighting the need to continuously reflect and develop our authentic leadership styles for effective leadership in a variety of environments.
ACPM provides more than professional development — it is a home for us to grow as leaders able to enhance the many systems that affect health. Here we find mentors, a nurturing community and connections that empower us to make a meaningful impact.
I invite you to ask yourself — what’s the next step on your leadership path?
As part of a ACPM CDC-funded initiative* to develop impactful curricula focusing on critical population health topics, I recently had the great opportunity to collaborate with a close colleague, Dr. Mitch Kaminski, Director of the Population Health program at Thomas Jefferson University, to develop a new ACPM course on leading change in the health ecosystem through physician leadership and change management. Grounded in research on effective leadership, organizational development and leading change, the course equips our members with perspectives and frameworks to drive change in their unique contexts. Through reflective exercises, participants will gain greater insight into their personal leadership styles and strengths and identify areas for continued leadership development.
Here are some ways ACPM can support you in developing as a leader:
- RSVP to join ACPM's Leadership Course Webinar to reflect on your leadership style. We'll notify you when the date is confirmed.
- Submit an abstract by October 16 for the ACPM annual conference, April 18-21, in Washington, DC. The theme for the conference is "Leadership in Preventive Medicine". Share your knowledge, connect and learn.
- Apply to serve on any of the ACPM committees and develop impactful relationships and leadership abilities. I personally invite you to join us on the Membership Committee, where we seek to engage members at all career stages.
- Take your next steps to become a Fellow of the College – we're here to support your professional growth (email us at membership@ACPM.org with questions).
- Renew your ACPM Membership and recommit to our professional home.
We need a diverse community to come together, empower and leverage each of our unique leadership qualities to become the leader’s society needs.
We cannot lead alone. But together, we can make an impact.
Prasad Acharya MD, MPH, MBA
Chair, Membership Committee
*The American College of Preventive Medicine’s Population Health Curriculum is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention through a Cooperative Agreement CDC-RFA-OT18-1802 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).