SVS: A lesson in unity through diverse talent

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Today’s emphasis on diversity is nearly inescapable, while examples of true unity seem scarcer. Is there really a way the two can co-exist or work together beneficially? Consider some of your favorite bands, or even successful sports teams. Even a cursory assessment shows that a diversity of talents and aptitudes can and do work harmoniously to create memorable music or bring home championships. Similarly, the SVS is a very diverse society that stands to benefit tremendously if unified in purpose.

Our specialty boasts a diverse range of practices—from highly specialized vascular centers of excellence to rural practices—that face a broad range of common but challenging vascular conditions. We operate efficient office-based labs (OBLs) and elegant vein practices. Our interests and aptitudes within the Society vary widely, and we all seek optimal practices that provide reasonable work-life balance while also ensuring professional satisfaction. Working in a proper setting can invigorate and energize us while acting as a level of protection from burnout. In this manner, the diversity of our practices can better ensure optimal patient care.

Beyond this we must continue to look even deeper. Our Society is diverse in social and political ideologies as well. These differences should not divide us. Rather, healthy discourse should open our eyes to future possibilities while exposing the current challenges that are our opportunities for progress. Despite and because of our diversity, we must have a seat at the legislative table and do everything possible to work for one another. The SVS Political Action Committee (PAC) is a vehicle that can package these efforts and present them to elected representatives who can advocate for our needs.

Some current SVS PAC efforts include: lobbying support for enacting legislation to end cuts in Medicare payments scheduled for Jan. 1, 2022; H.R. 2256/S. 834, “The Resident Physician Shortage Act”; H.R. 1667/S. 610, the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act”; and H.R. 3173, “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021.” More information on these issues is available at vascular.org/VoterVoice.

While the PAC is working diligently on behalf of the Society, we need engagement from our membership. The impact of our messaging is directly proportional to the percentage of the Society that participates. Of our 5,600 members less than 10% currently donate to the PAC. To those who donate, we thank you! To those who have never donated—take a chance on us, donate to the PAC, and invest in your future as well as the future success of our specialty.

Kenneth Madsen, MD, is a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery PAC Steering Committee.

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