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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am honored to be serving you as the 2021-2022 NJAOPS President. As the 120th D.O. to hold this position, I definitly feel that I have joined a very special group of healthcare professionals that truly has the interests and needs of D.O.'s in New Jersey as their top priority. As a longtime Member and Executive Board Member, I can attest to the great and important work that this organization does on all of our behalf. I am looking forward to serving you this year, and hope that we can make accomplishments together that benefit our profession, advance our interests, and improve healthcare overall for everyone in New Jersey.
It has been a very tough year, especially for health care practitioners. Although COVID-19 has taken a great toll on us, we have been steadfast as the frontline soldiers in the fight against the disease. We have been the hope and lifeline for critically ill patients from COVID-19. During this time, there was an unfortunate mischaracterization of DOs by the media. I encourage everyone to join me this year and use NJAOPS as a voice in denouncing the misconceptions and enlightening people about Osteopathic Medicine and Physicians. I want to thank everyone for honoring your oath of duty and sailing through one of the most trying and challenging times of our career. Let us maintain that resilience and determination in serving humanity and saving lives.
I am so humbled and thankful for having this opportunity and making this moment a reality despite hard times. This organization has been instrumental in equipping and empowering Osteopathic Physicians and I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing family. I would not be here without my mentors, Dr. T and Dr. Desanti. Dr. T held my hand from residency, taught me most of what I know, motivated me to join the board as a resident director, and has always supported me. Dr. Desanti has been teaching me since residency to be a detailed, compassionate physician. She has supported, me, encouraged me, and always been there for me throughout the years. I continue to learn from them each day and am more than grateful to have them as my mentors and amazing friends. Since being resident director, I have remained a dedicated board member. I hope that my journey as president of this great organization will inspire more students, residents, and young physicians to be involved. I encourage all physicians to mentor and motivate students, residents, and young physicians to attain their full potential and leadership qualities in this profession.
This year, I want to focus on preserving and strengthening Osteopathic Medicine. I want to enhance membership and leadership of the young and vibrant physicians. My priority will be addressing the issues that directly affect physicians, residents, and students. The leading advocacy areas will be medical education and testing, continuing to fight the nurse practitioner bill, insurance reimbursements, and the scope of practice of non-physicians in the medical field.
I am prepared and ready to counter all the challenges and opportunities as a leader. However, for the organization to succeed, we need everyone’s support. We have to maintain the unity that we have always embraced as an osteopathic family. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said “You must be the change you want to see in the world,” we have to work together to realize the change we need and rise to the challenge to have our voices heard.
I am very excited to work with everyone this year. Thank you again for joining AROC and we hope you enjoy the conference!
Hetal Patel, DO
Details on AROC 2022 are available on AROC.org