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The President's Letter

July 8, 2019

Dear SSCI Members,

Well, if you live anywhere in the South, you only have to walk outside for a few seconds to minutes to know it is summer! Kids are out of school, summer vacations are in full swing, and we are well on our way to implementing our new membership plan for SSCI that was approved at the annual business meeting in February. The intent of these changes is to grow our membership with an eye towards the principles of diversity and inclusiveness. This effort will encompass physicians at all stages of post residency/fellowship development from the newest to the most seasoned in general internal medicine and all subspecialties who are primarily clinician investigators or educators (or both). We are looking for more women and more minority who can not only help us grow in our understanding of and efforts to overcome past disparity practices but also in our attitudes and policies of inclusiveness. All of this will be essential for our organization as we become more intimately involved in the principles and practice of team science from the most basic preclinical work through introduction to the clinical trial process to implementation science and finally to population effects - literally benchside to bedside to curbside...and back again.

None of us are qualified to do everything across this spectrum. That is why we must become an ever stronger team of scientists and educators - basic, clinical, population - that learn from one another and provide collaboration that will allow us to develop new and ever more effective therapies combined with strategies to promote healthy living habits for those patients we ultimately serve. The SSCI occupies a unique space to be able to facilitate this even more than it has ever before in its distinguished 75 year history. This is where our new membership drive comes in.

There have historically been two categories of membership - regular member and emeritus member. To gain membership, an interested person had to be nominated and seconded and already have a track record as an established investigator or educator. She/he was voted on by SSCI council members based upon qualifications then presented for ratification at the SSCI annual meeting held during the Southern Regional Meeting (SRM). On occasion, a proposed member was considered too junior for full membership but offered associate membership on the basis of predicted progress in his/her academic career development. They were typically advanced to full membership over the following three years as their career matured.

These new developments occurbecause of the desire and ability of a broad spectrum of investigators, from preclinical basic, to clinical, to implementation, and to population researchers working together in the fascinating realm of translational science. This is the prime opportunityfor team science to succeed in developing approaches to care for the diseases of patients for whom we care as well as strategies to prevent these diseases all together by developing and initiating wellness strategies. There are those who generate the datato develop new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, and there are those who teach our trainees these strategies. I can think of no better venue than the SSCI and our annual Southern Regional Meeting as an organization with a place to marry these translational scholars together for the common purpose to developing and implementing new approaches to caring for our patients.

With our recent bylaws changes, any interested individual with a MD, DO or PhD who is engaged in biomedical research or education may directly apply to be a Member and, if these basic qualifications are met, can join SSCI. Then at a point in the future dependent primarily upon individual career development pathways, a Member may wish to advance to become a Fellow of the SSCI by completing an online application with the appropriate nominators and seconds (see below for further details) and that person, if successful, advances to become a fellow in the SSCI. All current members of the SSCI have been automatically advanced to fellowship status and may now use FSSCI in their signature line. Individuals who wish to be nominated for Fellow status may do so without going thru the Member application process.

Membership application and Fellow nomination instructions and forms can be found on our website at Both membership tracks are done online now. The deadline for Fellow nominations is August 15. There is no deadline for Member applications. They are accepted throughout the year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Joan Kemp at or 205-566-6090.

All of the current officers, council and members of SSCI are anxious to have new Members and Fellows join us and, importantly, attend and become active in our annual meeting. We want to get new members involved – with committee work, moderating session, speaking, service on Council or other positions of responsibility in the organization. Most importantly, we want to promote dialog and a variety of opinions, perspectives and practices from an increasingly diverse membership. In this way, we can better accomplish the primary goal of our organization – to foster and promote new knowledge in biomedical internal medicine and develop new and effective ways to disseminate such know for the benefit of society as a whole and especially our patients.

Please promote SSCI to your fellow faculty members and help them navigate the process to the online application. We look forward to a successful membership campaign and to welcoming many new members at our 75th Anniversary meeting in New Orleans next February.

Gailen D. Marshall, MD, PhD, FACP, FSSCI

Printable President's Letter

Related Information


The SSCI Thanks Its Sponsors

  • Elsevier sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation
  • AstraZeneca sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation