Ross Taubman, DPM, never could have foreseen the path his career would take. “You don’t set out as a child saying, I’m going to be the president of an insurance company one day!” But that’s precisely where his commitment to servant leadership led him: Following a highly successful career that included a private practice in Columbia, MD, and the presidency of both the Maryland Podiatric Medical Association and APMA, Dr. Taubman currently serves as the president and chief medical officer of PICA. Today at 3 p.m., he will deliver the keynote address “Servant Leadership—Life is Not a Linear Path” during the Opening Session of The National.
Dr. Taubman will share some of the surprises from his own professional journey “to help sow some seeds for others.” He said he is honored by the opportunity to provide the opening address. “I know I have accomplished a number of things, but I don’t think I’m special. I work hard, and good things happen to people who work hard.”
Dr. Taubman applied that work ethic to many challenges over the course of his career in the hopes of effecting positive change in the profession he loves. “We don’t have to settle for what is today. In fact, we have a responsibility to make things better for the next generations coming after us. Our servant leadership, our volunteerism, can improve things and create a better starting point for those who come after us.”
He points to the dramatic change the profession has seen since he graduated podiatric medical school in 1983. When Dr. Taubman left school, only three states had ankle privileges. About half of graduates were able to find a residency program, and a quarter of those were more than a year.
“Look where we are now,” Dr. Taubman said. “Three-year residencies and post-residency fellowships. For the most part, young physicians are not fighting for hospital privileges the way we were. We have two states left that don’t have ankle in their law. That’s a lot of change because of people who didn’t settle for the status quo.”
Dr. Taubman encourages every aspiring leader to identify a vision for the change they want to see. He also urges physicians to learn from all the mentors and influencers they encounter, whether it’s something they choose to emulate or something they choose to avoid.
“Some of my negative experiences were far more important to my leadership journey because I got it in my head that it doesn’t have to be this way,” Dr. Taubman said. “Take examples from others and use them for the positive.”
“I’m an eternal optimist,” Dr. Taubman concluded. “We live in a very divided time in history in politics, in our profession. We seem to be arguing with each other and it’s easy to get sidetracked and feel defeated. People who feel defeated lash out. Instead of lashing out, I believe you can make change by getting involved, volunteering, becoming a leader, not accepting the way things are.”
Dr. Taubman is looking forward to an outstanding meeting in Nashville, PICA’s hometown, with opportunities for learning, relationship-building, and networking. “The National is multifaceted and unique. I don’t think there’s another meeting that puts together the variety and multidimensional prospects The National does with education, workshops, and exhibitors. I’d like to personally invite attendees to stop by PICA’s booth this week and join us for our risk management lecture on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. We continue to be proud, steadfast supporters of APMA and wish everyone a successful event!”
APMA gratefully acknowledges the support of ASICS America Corporation and Bako Diagnostics, sponsors of the Opening Session.