Congratulations to Dr. Victoria Norwood on her appointment to the Board of Directors for the American Board of Pediatrics. This is an incredibly prestigious honor, and gives Vicky (and UVA Children’s Hospital) a place at this most prestigious of tables.
Here’s what Dr. Norwood had to say about the appointment.
Q: Tell me a little about the American Board of Pediatrics:
A: The American Board of Pediatrics is the certifying body for pediatricians. Its job is to help ensure the public that pediatricians are competent and continually learning in order to provide the best care to children. I got involved with the ABP about a dozen years ago when Bob Chevalier suggested that I consider a position on the nephrology subboard. The job of that group was to write questions for the certification exam for nephrology. While a lot of work, it was one of the most educational experiences of my entire life. I worked with 7 or 8 other pediatric nephrologists to design questions that worked well in the standardized testing environment but also explored the breadth of knowledge and science in our field. I chaired the subboard for 2 years and subsequently have worked on other ABP committees including the long-range planning committee and the credentials committee and the task force for subspecialty training. It has been wonderful to work on so many different aspects of certification and practice quality with the big focus of how to continue the process and always make it better. We asked ourselves, “What does the future of pediatrics look like?” We have to be ready for it and help direct the educational processes as the future unfolds. It’s been a phenomenal experience – I get to work with the top leaders in pediatrics. They are truly visionary thinkers and collaborative doers. To work with these people is heartwarming and career satisfying.
Q: What does this appointment mean to you?
A: Being a board member is the next step – the board is the governing body. I was a worker bee and now I will participate as a decider bee! I will continue to participate in multiple ways but the scope will broaden. My work will include international certifications, training programs, subspecialty boards, and developing concepts of how pediatrics will participate in the future of all of medicine. It will be fun to sit at the big kids’ table!
Q: The ABP’s mission states their goal is to “not only continually improve the standards of its certification but also advance the science, education, study, and practice of pediatrics.” How do you plan to contribute to this mission?
A: My scope of expertise is the knowledge of subspecialty medicine. Eight years ago, I was the founding chair of the Council of Pediatric Subspecialties, a group that came into being because there was no opportunity available at the time for the subspecialties to work together on common issues and concerns. I bring knowledge about fellowship training and subspecialty practice, small and large, to the conversation. That’s my niche – I provide the perspective of subspecialists in the community, faculty in academic practice, and fellows in training. Approximately 80% of the pediatric workforce concentrates on general pediatrics. I see myself as the minority rep. My passions are understanding academic and subspecialty pediatric medicine and understanding better ways educate the next generation for research and clinical care for children.
Q: What is your goal for the year as a new board member?
A: I’ll let you know after the first meeting! In general, my goal is to represent my constituency well and to continue this very noble cause.
Q: What advice would you give to others that want to get involved?
A: I would say be involved with your specialty societies. Be involved in teaching. If you become known as a good teacher with expertise and you like the challenges of education, you’ll get recognized. When you are noticed and asked, say, “YES!”
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I am honored. I still pinch myself sometimes realizing the talent in this arena and the opportunity I have to interact with such forward-thinking colleagues. It is a very real pleasure to continue to work with this amazing group of pediatricians. It’s fun because I like them. But we are doing very important work. We are envisioning the future for the care of children. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and what the world of medicine has to bring to our thinking!
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