Mathew W. MacCumber, MD, PhD
I am sincerely grateful to my fellow Council members for having elected me the candidate for vice chair of the Academy Council. I have nearly 10 years experience with organized ophthalmology, stemming initially from my participation in the 2004-2005 Leadership Development Program (LDP) and tenure as the delegate from the American Society of Retina Specialists to the AMA House of Delegates. Central in my mind during this service was the preservation of quality in eye care and the protection of our patients. For the LDP, I examined the status of diagnostic testing and treatment of retinal diseases by optometrists. Following my presentation of these findings to the board of the ASRS, the society made its first annual donation to the Academy's Surgical Scope Fund.
Since that time, I have served ophthalmology in a number of ways, including: directing one of the nation's leading retina fellowship programs; chairing the retina section of the Academy's maintenance of certification course; serving on the Academy committee that developed measures for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS); co-chairing six symposia on health care economics at the Annual Meeting; and writing and presenting the Council Advisory Recommendation (CAR) that called for an Academy task force on genetic testing on which I also served.
The Council has a central role in the exchange of information between the Academy's Board of Trustees and American ophthalmologists. As the U.S. medical system evolves more rapidly, we should keep in mind the words attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." With my experience in academic medicine, private practice, research and advocacy, I humbly believe that I can facilitate the role of the Academy Council as vice-chair and, ultimately, as chair. Thank you for considering me during this vote. I would be honored to serve the Academy membership in this important capacity.