I am writing this blog while sitting in my favorite chair at Gate 44 in Reagan National Airport. Why, you might ask, would I have a favorite chair at an airport? Because after four years of service on various ASCO committees, I ride an intellectual and professional high after each meeting. I sit in my airport chair with a silly grin on my face, pleased to have one of the best jobs around.
Today I had the pleasure of participating in an Ethics Committee meeting. Chaired by my friend and colleague Jeff Peppercorn, we discussed many of the important issues affecting oncologists today, such as financial conflicts of interest, oncology drug shortages, health care reform, and the era of genomic medicine. I feel blessed to be part of this exceptional group of physicians. Besides having a special research interest and experience in bioethics, all of the committee members are also clinicians who are dealing with these difficult issues on a daily basis. These are important issues that face most ASCO members. The thoughtful discussions that were held today were extremely thorough, complete, and even thrilling. And a big thank you goes to the stellar ASCO staff (especially Courtney Storm) for doing all the heavy lifting.
As oncologists, we are fortunate to have a society that examines our interests so closely. As an ASCO volunteer, I feel privileged to lend a voice in issues that matter to our entire profession.