While thinking about the AAPM's organizational structure, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) thought is was time to consider updating the Association's vision and mission statements. It had been 18 years since these were last visited. These present very short, encapsulated views of who we are and what we value. The sit proudly on our stationery.
The current vision statement reads:
"The American Association of Physicists in Medicine is the premier organization in medical physics, a broadly-based scientific and professional discipline encompassing physics principles and applications in biology and medicine."
SPC thought that this told who we are but did not convey a vision. That is, how AAPM would lead to a future we desire. The Committee offered three potential vision statements:
Option 1: "Continuously improving human health through medical physics."
Option 2: "Greatly improved human health through medical physics."
Option 3: "Better human health through medical physics."
The 2016 Membership Survey asked respondents to rank their preferences among the statements. The results were:
|Vision Statement Ranking||Preferring as First Choice|
|1||Continuously improving human health through medical physics||64.7%|
|2||Greatly improved human health through medical physics||8.1%|
|3||Better human health through medical physics||27.2%|
Almost two-thirds of the respondents voting preferred the first option. Some commenters observed that some medical physicists improve animal health working with veterinarians, and others felt "human" was just redundant. Although these comments were contradictory, the point was taken that the word "human" need not be included. There was also an impression that the word "continuously" was either unlikely or redundant, and could also be dropped. Eliminating those two words additionally addressed the concern that the statement was on the longish side. The resultant statement, "Improving health through medical physics" was presented to the Board of Directors at their meeting in Denver and was passed.
The current AAPM mission statement states:
"The mission of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine is to advance the science, education and professional practice of medical physics."
While capturing what we do, it again seemed a little long and passive. SPC proposed two options:
Option 1: "Advancing the science, education and professional practice of medical physics."
Option 2: "Transforming medicine through excellence in the science, education and professional practice of medical physics."
Again, the question was put to the membership in the survey, resulting in the ranking below:
|Mission Statement Ranking||Preferring as First Choice|
|1||Advancing the science, education and professional practice of medical physics||63.2%|
|2||Transforming medicine through excellence in the science, education and professional practice of medical physics||38.1%|
As with the vision statement, between three-fifths and two-thirds preferred one of the statements. Some commenters observed well that the mission of medical physics is not just to advance medical physics but advancing medicine or healthcare through medical physics. Other comments were to include some form of "radiology" and "radiation oncology." Those were felt to limit the field. After discussion, the SPC sent the following to the Board for approval: "Advancing medicine through excellence in the science, education and professional practice of medical physics." The Board approved this statement. The re-encapsulation reduced our statements from 51 words to 19, not that we are doing less, but maybe we are more focused.
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