World Medical Association Immediate Past President
From his beginning at Emory University in Atlanta to his inauguration as president of the World Medical Association (WMA) in Bangkok, Thailand, Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., MACP, has had the opportunity to experience more than most in his field could ever hope or imagine. Through his experience practicing internal medicine in Central Florida for more than 30 years, he can attest to the changes that have occurred through each solution and innovation.
A LIFETIME CAREER
It is difficult to define a single significant moment in my career. Rather, I would characterize the significant moment as the time I have enjoyed taking care of my patients for many years. Every year as I practiced medicine, I knew more than before. Each year brings more excitement and joy to the practice of medicine.
As a leader in the medical world, I believe leadership is about honesty and the ability to communicate. That communication must come with commitment, confidence and a positive attitude. Clearly a leader must carefully assess the problems ahead – the positives and the negatives – but in the end, the leader must focus on the ability to be positive and to inspire.
In my career in general internal medicine, I have been continually amazed and awed by advances in science. The tests, treatments, medications and vaccines that flow in an ever-building torrent from the laboratories and clinics of inquisitive and imaginative scientists will continue to accelerate. In fact, history shows we are more apt to underestimate its impact than overestimate.
In the area of science, the sequencing of the human genome represents the largest single undertaking in the history of biological science and stands as a signature scientific achievement. Because of this, the years ahead will bring new and maybe unexpected solutions to contemporary issues in drug-delivery technologies, pharmacogenomics, gene regulation and manipulation.
The Internet also brings a wealth of information and change to scientists who explore what is available and new. It brings information to physicians to help them care for patients, and information to patients to help them be more aware of their own health care.
American doctors are among the best trained, best educated and most innovative in the world. At our fingertips are advanced technologies, the latest treatments, and the most effective procedures. The U.S. has made important headway against such problems as strokes; certain cancers, including colon and breast cancers; and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For those in the U.S. and abroad, receiving care in the U.S. is excellent.
For the 40 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that have universal health insurance, health care is available. For those in the U.S. who are without medical insurance, the latest and best health care is not available. The hope is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help make health care available for everyone.