Engage in a 5-minute conversation with ACEP President-Elect Becky Parker, and her densely packed CV will begin to make sense: Energy, connections, and clarity are hallmark traits of each discussion. A member of the ACEP Board of Directors since 2009, Dr. Parker has built a legacy of leadership in emergency medicine.
Q. You served on the EMRA Board of Directors during residency. How has that experience helped you?
The year before I was elected to the EMRA Board, I was appointed to the AAMC resident group as 1 of 2 EM residents for EMRA. I then served as EMRA Secretary/Editor and Alternate Councilor. It was a great experience! The group was highly energetic, smart, and enthusiastic physicians with great ideas. Our budget may have been limited, but we learned how to brainstorm effectively together, and how to realize those ideas. EMRA is an independent residency organization. That’s rare. EMRA has the power to lead and think with an independent voice within emergency medicine. It was important to stand up and speak freely, even though we were residents. I am still a proud EMRA member, and that’s been a great way for me to give back to an organization that’s given me so much – plus I get all the great books and products. It’s well worth the $50 to stay an alumni member. The Board is accomplishing amazing things, and I
couldn’t be more proud.
Q. Favorite EMRA memory?
As an Alternate Councilor, I was there when Nancy Auer handed the reins of the ACEP presidency over to John Moorhead. Normally the standing president hands the president-elect a gavel; however, Nancy was ACEP’s first woman president, so she handed John a tiara, and everyone got a big kick out of that. It certainly left an impression on me.
Q. Top 2 priorities as ACEP president-elect?
No. 1 is preparing the College for PPACA and MACRA, or “health care reform.” We will codify our role in the new paradigm. We must adjust our practices, so we receive appropriate payment for services provided, creating a healthy practice environment for both the patient and physician. No. 2 is diversity. ACEP has a diversity summit in April, and we’re going to divide into 5 groups to start talking about diversity within EM as a whole, by addressing gender, race, religion, LGBT community, and generational issues. For the health of the specialty, it’s best that we reflect the patients we serve. Companies and groups that are diverse statistically achieve more, because they have a depth of experience and knowledge that other groups do not. I believe that, and I’m committed to that ideal.
Q. Best time management tip?
I’m a list person. I keep a running list, redone weekly, of calls and emails to make, ongoing projects and topics to discuss with key collaborators. I have my list for my job on a yellow legal pad and my list for ACEP on a white legal pad. Then I take notes on calls and such on a different color legal pad. So, you’ve surmised I’m really into legal pads. It sounds silly discussing it this way, but the system works—I assure you. I get a lot done in a much shorter time span. The other tip is a shout-out to my former residency chair, Matt Walsh—a wise man. He told me that if you can take care of something quickly, do it right then and get it off your desk. Don’t let things pile up. That is also really helpful.
Q. Last non-textbook you read?
Wishful Drinking, by Carrie Fisher.
Q. Most-used app on your phone?
After that awful Apple email app, which my husband keeps trying to get me to ditch, it’s Facebook and Facebook messenger. It’s surprising how Facebook messenger feels like the de facto texting app, more than Apple Messages or Google hangouts.
This past May my husband Matty and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. And, he has been above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty supportive of my ACEP work. We met teaching The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming. We still love music. Our sons are Joshua (8) and Jacob (5). I should mention that Jacob was the first-ever ACEP Board baby. He was born July 1, so I Skyped in for the June board meeting. We are very lucky that both my Mom, who is a retired history professor, and my sister Beth, who is an attorney, live in Park Ridge with us. They often help Matty with the boys when I’m away on work or College business, and I know that I am truly blessed with a supportive, loving environment. I couldn’t do what I do without my family. I think they put up with all the work, because they understand the importance of helping others, whether that is helping patients or physicians. And, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than help people.