Message from the EAST President

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Grateful and proud…When people ask me how it feels to be President of EAST, those are the first words that come to mind.

Grateful…to be a part of an organization that is so welcoming and warm.  Grateful to be among this group of individuals who are so dedicated and generous of spirit.  As many of you are aware, I wasn’t able to attend the Annual Scientific Assembly this year.  I had recently started a new position and COVID was hitting really hard, and I realized that I just couldn’t leave Baltimore and go to Austin despite how much I wanted to go and how much I felt, as the President-Elect, I should go.  I was really worried about how the rest of the organization’s leadership would react when I told them I couldn’t go.  The response could not have been more gracious or understanding.  I am also so grateful to everyone who stepped up and volunteered without even being asked to make the Annual Scientific Assembly such an amazing success.  I will not call out any names for fear of leaving someone out, but I am so grateful for you all who assured our members and guests were safe and that the science was presented.

Proud…to be part of an organization that is committed to best serving our members and providing opportunities to all.  One recent example are the recent changes to the Bylaws that were approved by the membership.  EAST is an organization that was founded to support the development of the “young” trauma surgeon.  The intent of the organization was to support those early in their careers and to provide opportunities that didn’t exist in other contemporary organizations.  Now, the “straight through” training paradigm is less common and often our members are choosing alternate paths prior in their journey to join our profession.   I am so proud that we chose to make the courageous step to modify the language to clarify the intent and better serve all of the membership.

If the past 2 ½ years have taught us anything, it is that life is too short to spend time and energy on things which do not bring us happiness.  While being interviewed for the “Presidential Traumacast,” Lauren Dudas asked me what my goals were for the upcoming year.  I realized that what I wanted most for EAST and its members is for everyone to be engaged in activities that bring them joy.  It may sound trite, but it is true.  To that end, I have asked each of our committee chairs to engage with their committee members and strategize about what activities they, as the subject matter experts, wish to engage in to assure that they are doing things that they feel are valuable and bring them enjoyment.  Additionally, to assure value in our activities, I have asked them all to go back to their mission statement and think about the “why” of what we do.  I would encourage each of you to think about how EAST can help bring you joy; through being mentored or being a mentor, through being better educated or being an educator, through conducting and presenting science, through engaging in prevention activities and programs, through being part of a warm and welcoming community, and through improving the care of our injured patients.

Deborah M. Stein, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM
President, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma

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