AMC’s motto, Achieve What You Believe, is directed at its own staff as much as its association clients. Philip Saigh, executive director of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), is achieving his goal to cultivate and sustain strong professional relationships—and has throughout his career.
First, there is Phil’s longtime relationship with a mentor and colleague, who first introduced him to AAPM and has since guided him in his development as a medical society executive. Then there are two very different former bosses he admires and continues to study. One never seemed daunted by challenges and taught him how to plunge into the unknown and find his way; the other is a “politician” whose many skills include building and maintaining critical relationships.
When asked about career highlights and challenges, Phil points to working and communicating well with staff and member volunteers. He freely boasts of his “amazing” team, and the abilities of each of its members to “own and advocate” for their projects, whether at a weekly staff meeting or during a presentation to the AAPM Board of Directors. He aims to keep volunteer leadership active and engaged and, as a former high school English teacher and writer, uses his communication skills to probe complex issues at critical levels, ensure clarity and understanding, and guide deliberations.