Although my tenure as president of the Salus Alumni Board has just begun, I have already had the privilege and pleasure of not only speaking at this spring’s commencement but also addressing the incoming Salus students. In doing so, I’ve been able to reconnect with the alpha/omega of my student trajectory at PCO/Salus. Upon this reflection, I’ve concluded that a fully engaged healthcare career should rest upon a three-legged stool.
The first leg rests upon the excellent academic preparation you received at Salus University and the extended friendships you cultivated with your mentors and peers. This has prepared you for a prosperous professional life.
The second leg is formed from your engagement with professional organizations and associated legislative involvement. Since our healthcare professions are legislatively controlled, it is crucial that you stay engaged within this arena as this ensures that you can practice to the full scope of your professional training.
The third leg relies on your continued link with your alma mater. By supporting your academic roots, financially and by being a mentor, you ensure that the next generation will be elevated. Just as you have stood on the shoulders of those before you, you now have the opportunity to provide those shoulders for others. This is an excellent way to repay Salus for all the opportunities it has provided, while also having the benefit of experiencing the exuberance of students launching into a new career!
The alumni board provides an open door to help you reconnect with your former friends and develop new friendships with another generation of colleagues. It keeps you in touch with how academia is preparing the future of your profession as well as perpetuating the vitality of your selected careers.
I encourage your consideration of this three-legged model to strengthen your professional experience. Always remember that a three-legged stool remains stable even on an uneven surface. I encourage you to be involved with your alumni board’s appeals and alumni activities. I guarantee that you will receive more in return than you will give.
Robert Owens, OD ‘80, FAAO, Diplomate ABO