As we approach the close of 2023, I find myself reflecting on the remarkable journey we’ve undertaken in the field of sleep medicine. Just as my own career has been shaped by the winds of change since my early days at Johns Hopkins in 1993, so too has our entire discipline evolved in ways that were once unimaginable.

In the spirit of our ever-changing landscape, I am immensely proud of the strides we’ve made in the past year. Our commitment to advocacy remains unwavering, as exemplified by the recent endeavors of the AASM Coding & Compliance Committee and Advocacy Committee. Their presence on Capitol Hill during AASM’s health policy Hill Day last month was instrumental in championing physician payment reform. These efforts are crucial steps toward ensuring our field’s resilience and continued growth. I was also happy to engage in advocacy at both the White House and Congress on behalf of national sleep initiatives and we had a team advocating for permanent standard time visit Capitol Hill in November as well.

Equally heartening is the influx of new talent into sleep medicine. The recent Match Day results revealed a record-breaking number of 188 physicians matched with sleep medicine fellowship training programs. This surge in interest speaks volumes about the compelling appeal of our specialty. I share in the enthusiasm of medical students and physicians who recognize the transformative impact we can have on patients’ lives by improving their sleep and overall well-being.

As we set our sights on 2024, there are exciting initiatives on the horizon. The impending approval of our new strategic plan, with its emphasis on advocacy and public awareness, technology innovation and member success, is a beacon guiding our collective efforts. I am particularly eager to collaborate with the newly formed Sleep Technologist Shortage Presidential Committee, a dedicated group poised to address the critical shortage of sleep technologists. Their mandate to identify contributing factors, build awareness, and propose solutions aligns seamlessly with our commitment to overcoming challenges and fortifying our workforce.

In the coming year, a survey of our physician members will shed light on ongoing pain points related to maintenance of certification, allowing us to refine our support structures. Additionally, Sleep Medicine Trends 2024 promises to be an enlightening event. I look forward to sharing the keynote address, “HELP! Challenges as Sleep Medicine Meets the Future,” and engaging in discussions that will shape the trajectory of our field. Early registrants can enjoy a $100 discount before Jan. 21, and I encourage you to attend this impactful event.

As we embrace the possibilities that 2024 holds, I am optimistic about the advancements that lie ahead. The intersection of artificial intelligence, emerging technologies, and patient empowerment is reshaping the landscape of sleep medicine. The evolving role of wearables and the potential of AI present exciting prospects for our field’s future.

In closing, I express my sincere gratitude for your dedication to advancing sleep medicine. Together, let us stride into 2024 with purpose, resilience, and a shared commitment to improving the lives of our patients through the gift of better sleep.

Wishing you restful holidays and a rejuvenating start to the New Year.

Warm regards,

James A. Rowley, MD