Inspiration and Resolutions for 2019

Inspiration and Resolutions for 2019

Linda R. Duska, MD, MPH

Jan 08, 2019

The January issue of ASCO Connection will arrive in your mailbox and inbox as the old year passes and the new one begins. Although there’s never a bad time to make a positive commitment in your life, something about opening the calendar to January 1 feels like the right moment to set an intention. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, here are a few that the articles in this issue might inspire:

I will celebrate my colleagues’ achievements, whether they’re getting published, promoted, or awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It was thrilling to learn that ASCO member Dr. James P. Allison was being honored as a Nobel laureate for his truly groundbreaking discoveries in immunotherapy, an honor he shares with Dr. Tasuku Honjo. We also congratulate the many members who are growing in their careers and being honored for their work in our Member News column.

I will be vocal about the health policy issues that affect oncology professionals and people with cancer. You don’t have to wait for the next ASCO Advocacy Summit to make your voice heard on local, state, and national policies that will impact your work in oncology and those affected by cancer. You can visit today to learn about the issues and find tools to help you reach your elected officials. Learn more about how ASCO develops its policy guidance and position statements and then turns words into action.

I will go into discussions with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. Dr. Erika Hamilton writes movingly of a situation in which narrow-sighted focus on a “perfect” treatment plan left a patient with few good options. Shared decision-making means that even when we disagree, we must find ways to compromise.

I will ask my patients about financial barriers to their care and educate myself on resources to offer them. Talking about money is generally awkward and it’s natural to avoid the conversation, but we owe it to our patients to ask the question—and to have resources or referrals available for them when they need it. Learning about ASCO’s recent efforts around financial barriers to clinical trials participation is a good place to start.

I will be aware of my emotions and how they impact my team, and make time to build relationships so that we can do our best work together. Mr. Todd Pickard shares how he and his team are embarking upon an emotional intelligence journey to see if they can improve team-based care in their institution.

I will be deliberate about amplifying women’s voices and working toward gender equity in medicine. Dr. Eileen Parkes outlines straightforward and practical ways that we can all step up and speak out for gender equality in oncology. This is an effort in which all of us, women and men alike, can play a role. 

Happy New Year, and I wish you incredible success in everything you set out to do in 2019!


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