As I write this message to you, I am very excited to have started my new role as the president of the Professors of Child Neurology (PCN). I think all of us could not even imagine what the last year had in store for us. From the global pandemic to the racial unrest facing our nation, this past year is one I think none of us will soon forget. It has certainly had a profound effect on all of us in many different ways, but also has had a significant impact on the training of our future generation of child neurologists and neurodevelopmental disability pediatricians. How we have taught and educated our residents this past year has had to evolve quickly and so have all of us. This has provided a unique situation and opportunity for the sharing of resources as we all entered the virtual learning, teaching and patient care worlds.
Since the mission of the PCN is to advocate for and help shape the training of our residents, I hope to bring some of these new innovative educational techniques to the PCN/CNS meeting in the fall. I hope to incorporate ideas for collaborations with the CNS Electronic Communications Committee and the Educational SIG to move forward with the development of virtual learning tools.
I also plan on introducing some ideas I have for a PCN mentorship program for program directors. This would pair a new program director with one who has been in this position for some time and possibly add to the webinar series that Tim Lotze began, including one dedicated to this program director mentorship program.
In addition, I look forward to working with the newly formed combined PCN/CNS Leadership, Diversity and Equity task force headed up by Rujuta B. Wilson. I would also like to extend my congratulations to Rujuta for her election to the PCN Board as a Director at Large.
I know I have big shoes to fill with our outgoing president, Tim Lotze, but I look forward to continuing his excellent ideas into the coming year with Tim playing a role as Past-President. This includes the continued development and structuring of our PCN sub-committees. These committees currently include the Match, Membership, Post-graduate Training and Undergraduate Training committees. I will be reaching out to our current members to solicit and respond to interest in joining these subcommittees. I look forward to continued discussion with our board members regarding additional committees that may be vital considering changes in training that have occurred due to the past year’s events.
Regarding PCN membership, I plan to continue the discussion regarding institutional vs individual membership. I also would like to encourage membership amongst our fellowship directors and potentially open up membership to CNS members who are in the unique situation of serving as general pediatric residency program directors as well. At our last meeting (and at meetings in the past) it was brought up that there are still many child neurologists involved in education who do not know you do not need to be a full professor to be a member of the PCN. This may be a limiting factor in the number of people who choose to be members of the PCN. We discussed possibly changing the name of our organization. I would like make this a topic of discussion at our next meeting as well.
As we all prepare for our lives to hopefully get back to normal as this year progresses, I am very excited for our fall meeting in Boston and hope to be able to reconnect with all of you in person!