As a young discipline and industry, urgent care relies heavily on its organizational leaders to advance the political, academic, and developmental agendas that are in the best interest of their constituents. These leaders represent the face and voice of their members on the national stage. Needless to say, we cannot become dependent on the work and vision of a few to dictate the direction and activity of the whole. Member engagement and participation are paramount to ensuring adequate representation and accountability.

Urgent care is a revolution of sorts, and revolutions are not fought by armchair infantries. If you care about the future of urgent care medicine, then get off your couch and join the fight! Being informed and involved is the best way to ensure proper stewardship.

So, to that end, it is with great pleasure that I dedicate this month’s column to the introduction of two key elected officials from your representative urgent care organizations:

Marc Salzberg, MD, FACEP, was elected president of the Urgent Care Association (UCA) in May 2011, after serving two terms on its board of directors. Marc brings a wealth of organizational leadership experience with him to this critical position. As a formative leader of the specialty of emergency medicine, Marc started several of the first academic departments and residency training programs. Additionally, he championed emergency medicine as a uniquely critical health care delivery network that changed the way patients access acute care services and changed the quality of care they subsequently received.

Dr. Salzberg is a seasoned change manager, uniquely capable of moving bureaucratic barges in new directions. As president of UCA, Marc has made a commitment to “working with all stakeholders—insurance companies, hospitals, professional societies, governmental agencies, and private physician groups—to provide the best care in the most cost efficient manner to our patients.”

Will Gluckman, DO, MBA, FACEP, was recently elected president of the newly formed Urgent Care College of Physicians (UCCOP). The physician college was born out of a need for a physician-led society to represent the clinical, research, educational, and specialty development agenda for the discipline of urgent care medicine. No one is better suited than Will to lead the effort.

Dr. Gluckman concurrently serves on the UCA board of directors, giving him an important insight into the need for parallel agendas as we begin the natural separation of trade and specialty. Dr. Gluckman brings years of academic and teambuilding experience to this critical post. Will is committed to providing a national voice for the physicians who practice urgent care medicine. His support of specialty development initiatives such as the fellowship programs, clinical research, and JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine reflects his critical understanding of the importance of such initiatives in securing a seat in the house of medicine. Will is a proven peacekeeper, capable of managing the potentially thorny relationships with our family and emergency medicine colleagues.

As organizations grow, change becomes more difficult, but no less important. Urgent care is at a critical stage of growth that will require forward-thinking, innovative leaders to create a roadmap for future success. Stagnation is simply not an option. These young organizations are not on cruise control and require a collective wave of energy to be impactful. Their respective leaders can only do so much yet must nevertheless be responsive to the needs of their members. So spend some time getting to know your organizations, their history, their achievements, how they function, how they are governed, and who their elected leaders are. Then give yourself an educated voice on the issues that matter most to you. Participate in meetings, chat in their online forums, or send an email to these newly elected officials.

Make sure your voice is heard, but don’t stop there. Make a commitment to be part of the revolution. Join the fight and make a difference for the future of the discipline.

Lee A. Resnick, MD
Editor-in-Chief
JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine

Who’s Steering This Ship?

Lee A. Resnick, MD, FAAFP

Chief Medical and Operating Officer at WellStreet Urgent Care, Assistant Clinical Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Editor-In-Chief for The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine
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