It may feel like long ago, but the holiday season is only just behind us. I hope everyone had a chance for rest and relaxation with family and friends. The holidays can be such a wonderful time for joy, reflection, and gatherings that inevitably involve those “fun” conversations about the “drug” industry. We all have our own variant of “Uncle Jim” complaining about “those darn drug prices” and “Aunt Jill” asking, “What exactly do you do?” in the pharmaceutical industry? Always a fun question to answer; I often respond that I teach doctors about new medicine and quickly turn to compliment my Mom on her apple pie.
Lately, my responses have progressed to a new level of sophistication, reflecting how proud I am of our profession and the new directions we are taking as medical publication professionals. While historically focused on peer-review publishing, our professional remit now incorporates a level of responsibility for ensuring that the data contained in a publication are actually being used to improve health care decision making. Stated another way, achieving the coveted “submitted” or “published” milestone is only just the beginning of our journey to ensure that data are translated into evidence that can be used by health care decision makers. Publication professionals have indeed evolved to medical communication professionals that have an awesome responsibility for ensuring patients are treated effectively.
“Our professional remit now incorporates a level of responsibility for ensuring that the data contained in a publication are actually being used to improve health care decision making.”
I am equally proud of ISMPP, our professional society, including all of our members, sponsors, staff, and volunteers. We are quickly pursuing the opportunity to provide new education and best practices to more effectively meet the needs of our mandate. The level of interest and enthusiasm for our Society has been awe-inspiring, with so many colleagues eager to help. I am genuinely grateful for this support because there is important work to be done. Our members need to rapidly get up to speed on digital innovation, visual medical communications, adult learning principles, and even social media. We have essential questions to answer:
- How do physicians and other health care professionals learn most effectively?
- How should budgets be invested?
- Which digital enhancements actually work?
- What are the guard rails of compliance to maintain professional ethics?
Is there a strong value proposition for a professional society dedicated to modern medical publishing? You bet there is!
As I turn to 2020, this will prove to be an exciting year for ISMPP. We will continue to shine as the premier Society for our profession. Our programming will further evolve with a broader base as medical communication professionals. The ISMPP member experience will expand, with new technology and a digital community to foster engagement and provide a virtual space to chat, network, and get answers. Our communications with members will look and feel more modern and reflect the core strength and talents that we hold as communication professionals. All of these advancements – in addition to continuing to ensure we meet the needs of professionals worldwide and reinforcing the highest of professional ethics – is what we have in store for the New Year. In short, there could not be a more exciting time to be part of ISMPP!
I look forward to an amazing year collaborating with my fellow colleagues and friends as we navigate the opportunities and challenges inherent to our enriched profession. Please accept my best wishes for a fantastic year, filled with health, happiness, and professional fulfillment.
Robert J. Matheis
ISMPP President and CEO