It is the season to be grateful and I’m making a list.

First, I am thankful and incredibly honored to serve as the next President of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.  Our society has been fortunate to have a history of strong and innovative leadership.  Paul Spearman is both a mentor to me and a tough act to follow!  I’m looking forward to growing initiatives that he championed around member engagement and advocacy.  I couldn’t ask for better partners than President-elect, Buddy Creech, and Secretary-Treasurer, Susan Coffin.

I am thankful for our hardworking and resourceful staff, Executive Director, Christy Phillips, and Marketing and Communications Manager, Winter Harris.  It is a little mind-boggling to consider that PIDS and the PIDS Foundation are run with a permanent staff of two.  Fortunately, we have dozens of dedicated volunteers who do much of the work that supports our strategic aims.  In the coming year, I hope to bring you a formal strategic plan that will help us prioritize our work and potentially grow our resources.

Finally, I am thankful to be able to work in this profession.  I always tell trainees that I have the best job in the world.  One of the things I appreciate about this field, is that my “best” job doesn’t necessarily look like your “best” job.  As pediatric infectious diseases specialists, some of us work in large academic medical centers.  Others work in smaller community hospitals.  Some of us are employed by industry or public health partners.  Some of us move our field forward by leading NIH-funded research labs and others advance the field through clinical trials (or contribute data to multi-center clinical trials).  We are educators.  We are policymakers.  We are entrepreneurs.  In future newsletters, I plan to highlight the breadth of opportunity and talent in our profession with profiles of members who work in a variety of settings.  Yes, I hope this sort of storytelling will be valuable as we think about how best to recruit trainees to our fellowship programs.  I also hope to “introduce” you to fellow Peds ID specialists that maybe you haven’t had a chance to meet in person, or perhaps I'll help you learn something about a longtime colleague that you didn’t know.  I also want to make it clear—if it wasn’t already—that all are welcome in PIDS.

As 2019 draws to a close, if you have ideas for me, questions or concerns to share, please reach out.  We have some exciting projects on the horizon… but more about those next time.