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Feb 26 2024

From the President: Leading with gratitude

 Categories:  President’s Message Comments:   comments  Print Friendly Version  |   Share this item
picture of Dr. Christine Khandelwal
Dr. Khandelwal
In November I had the privilege of being sworn in as the North Carolina Medical Board’s 125th President. My heart overflowed with gratitude as I stood before my colleagues on the Board, assembled staff and my husband, as I swore to fulfill this responsibility to the best of my ability.

When I submitted my application to serve as a Board Member more than five years ago, I never imagined I would be selected, let alone go on to serve as Board President. At the time, I thought, “They’ll never choose me, but what have I got to lose?”

When I was, in fact, appointed to NCMB I must admit to feeling a little like I had jumped into the deep end of the pool. There I was, just barely holding my face above the water, learning as fast as I could and slowly but surely learning to swim with strength and confidence. Today I consider serving with NCMB to be one of the most enriching and worthwhile experiences of my professional life.

I did not make this journey alone. I think those of us here can think of special teachers and mentors who have changed our lives during our careers in various ways. For me, I am fortunate to have had Dr. Barbara Walker as my mentor these past five years. She is a true pioneer in the field of osteopathic medicine, a humble leader who leads with grace while always offering compassionate truths for me to grow to become a better leader. Her continual guidance has been invaluable to me, and I am truly thankful for the time and effort she has invested in me to grow both personally and professionally.

I also could not be more fortunate in my other colleagues on the Board. I am in awe of the collective expertise and dedication that each of my fellow Board Members brings to this organization’s mandate to regulate medicine and surgery for the benefit and protection of the people of North Carolina. I am humbled and grateful for the trust they have demonstrated in choosing me to serve as Board President.

I could not write on the topic of gratitude without mentioning my husband and children. Serving with NCMB is rewarding but, quite frankly, it is also a lot of work. Being on the Board means taking (conservatively) dozens of hours every month out of your “free time” reading email, reviewing investigative reports and medical records, as well as license applications and other documents. It is like a second job. No Board Member can serve without the enthusiastic support and understanding of their family. I am endlessly grateful for mine, especially for my husband Gautam, who is a true partner.

Finally, I want to close by expressing my gratitude for you – the Board’s licensees. Too often, any mention of the medical board raises the intimidating specter of disciplinary action. As co-Chair of the Board’s Disciplinary Committee last year, I spent a significant portion of my work with NCMB examining, discussing and deciding the fates of physicians and PAs who came to Board attention due to some form of misconduct. Disciplinary Committee sees it all – the worst, most willful acts of misconduct as well as those that arose from honest mistakes or lack of knowledge.

And yet, I want to note that that just a small fraction of NCMB’s licensees are involved in enforcement cases each year. The overwhelming majority of physicians and PAs are competent professionals who follow the rules and do their best for their patients every day. These licensees help to preserve the integrity of the medical profession every bit as much as NCMB does by holding errant licensees accountable. I see you and I appreciate you.

In looking ahead to the future of medical practice in our great state of North Carolina, I am cognizant that we, as licensees, bear the responsibility of safeguarding the trust that our patients and communities place in us. For this upcoming year, it is my honor to work alongside all of you to maintain the core values that define our noble profession.

I look forward to sharing more with you in this space as the year progresses.

Be well.

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