Brenda Fahy, MD, remembers exactly where she was when she received one of the most important phone calls of her life.
“I was standing on the beach,” she said. “I don’t remember exactly what was said after I was informed I’d be the next president of the ABA,” laughed Dr. Fahy. “I was overwhelmed with excitement. I was and still am extremely honored to have been chosen.”
Dr. Fahy’s new appointment as president isn’t her first role with the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). She’s been actively involved in the organization since 2003, when she began volunteering as an examiner. Since then, she’s held numerous positions within the ABA including: question author, editor of the ABA newsletter, member of 12 different committees, board of director member, and vice president, to name a few. Dr. Fahy feels her 15 years of service with the ABA prepared her well for her new appointment.
“Being involved with the ABA has been wonderful both personally and professionally,” she said. “Each role has been different and presented challenges that have given me insights into the organization that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I believe in our mission, to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology, and I’ve seen how the ABA’s dedication to that mission has positively impacted our diplomates.”
As president, Dr. Fahy is charged with setting the strategic initiatives for the ABA, a responsibility she’s excited to take on. “When I look back on my time as president, I want to feel I made a meaningful impact on the field of anesthesiology. In particular, through MOCA and our primary certification programs,” she said. According to Dr. Fahy, the opportunity lies in her ability to bolster the ABA’s existing reputation as an innovative certifying board. “The ABA is a pioneer. We bring forth the kinds of initiatives and programs that are emulated by other boards because we continuously seek to understand and know our diplomates so we can design programs for and around them.”
At the top of Fahy’s list of priorities is continued investment in the next iteration of the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology™ (MOCA®) program, MOCA 3.0. (The ABA recently announced the commission of a physician users’ group to guide the redesign of the Physician’s Portal and the development of a new ABA mobile application that will provide diplomates with a personalized, seamless digital experience.) “I’ve received excellent feedback on MOCA Minute and the direction the board has taken with the maintenance of certification program,” she said. “That’s a trend I hope to continue during my time as president.”
In addition to furthering the ABA’s mission, Dr. Fahy is also “trying to figure out how to be a role model, especially as a woman in leadership.” Dr. Fahy is the fourth female president of the ABA and the fifth female elected as a board of director member. She’s also a first-generation American born to immigrant parents. Her first piece of advice to anyone aspiring to any leadership role is to become involved. “Each of us can and should contribute our unique perspective to the organizations we’re a part of,” she says. “Diversity — of opinion, experience and background — are all important. It’s so important that you share this with an organization, whether it’s the ABA or another entity, so it can better represent and serve its members.”
By Annabel Jones, Marketing & Communications Manager, ABA