December 19, 2022


As 2022 draws to a close, so does my time as President of MSD. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of this exceptional organization, as well as the staff. I cannot tell you how much being President has meant to me. It has been a process like no other I have had the opportunity in which to participate. Meeting a variety of individuals, interacting with legislators, and most of all, working with all of you has been enlightening, satisfying, frustrating, and daunting…all rolled up into one. It has been a two-year time period in which the pandemic reared its ugly head, fell away slightly, and the world continued onward, albeit in an isolated fashion. Year two was more normal with various meetings and events in person. The contrasts could not have been more apparent, and at the same time, hopeful. 

When I thought of a theme for this President’s Corner, I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful and that you might think about in the months ahead. Specifically, I hope it makes you realize you can make a difference…and a big one at various ways as a member of MSD. Just like the other President's Corners I have presented to you, I’ve done a lot of musing. I hope I’ve struck a chord for many of you over the past months. So this time I thought the word “appeal” is the one that best describes how I’m now feeling. In this regard, there are a number of layers to the word and its application to MSD. I enjoy learning about the etymology of words and how meanings have evolved over time. Did you know the word "appeal" has roots dating back many centuries? The one derivation I found most meaningful is that the word is “probably a Roman metaphoric extension of a nautical term for ‘driving a ship toward a particular landing’."1 That meaning struck a tremendous chord with me! In this regard, appeal is very much how one can consider MSD. How can you steer a ship without a captain and, depending on the vessel size, a devoted crew? So apt to think of your executive team along with members and staff as critically important to sail the vessel. And so it is for MSD. While at times the seas are choppy and rough and while rogue waves may appear from time to time, the ship has never capsized. No one has been thrown overboard! Of course some of the crew have left on their own accord, perhaps having disagreements with the course of the ship. Yet all are respected in their beliefs as the ship moved onward.

Another thought and another layer of “appeal” is to implore to you of the value of your participation in the course of the ship. You can and do make a difference! As I have spoken about a number of times during my presidency, I appeal to you to engage with MSD. This can be in the form of serving on a committee, joining an educational offering, or suggesting and even writing a resolution. The Medical Society is more than happy to hear from you. All it takes is an idea to get you started! These are only a few ways to become involved. Another very important way to make headway (in the nautical and other sense) is to interact with your legislators. Get to know them on a personal level. Meet up with them locally or in Dover. Texts, emails, and calls go a long way.  If you have a presence on social media, engage in discussions about important issues for you, your colleagues, and patients. Most legislators are on social media and this is another way to hear from you!

And just as heavy fuel oil powers a ship,2 so, too, MSD is powered by your donations. I want to note another layer of “appeal” is for you to realize that MSD benefits from your financial support in many ways. The Mission Appeal is a very worthwhile cause. By donating to the Delaware Medical Education Foundation (DMEF) and the Delaware Foundation for Medical Services (DFMS), your support can go a long way to really make things happen. Giving to the newly created David Bentz scholarship (embedded in DMEF), to benefit those planning a career in public service, is an option to consider strongly. Others include the ongoing OBVIOUS campaign and the Voluntary Initiative Program (VIP). The 1789 Club is another way to really make a difference in helping MSD move forward in sometimes stormy seas and keeping the course.

Next year is almost here! And so is the time when MSD will once again hold a strategic planning meeting to discuss where we will be going in the years ahead. This is another opportunity for you to get involved and steer the ship. MSD will not be docking or ending up in dry dock any time going forward. The course of the ship is not haphazard but does have various ports of call. Be involved and help chart the course! Your input in terms of engagement on many fronts makes a big difference! Power MSD forward…let headway be made…the waters ahead may be familiar or uncharted, treacherous or calm…but either way…you are a vital crew member as MSD moves forward on a course we all hope is filled with promise for all. Be a part of the voyage…don’t be left stranded at sea!

Thank you once again for reading and being involved! I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year!

Make a Donation to the MSD Mission Appeal

Matthew J. Burday, DO



  1. Online Etymology Dictionary. Appeal. Available at: Accessed December 16, 2022.
  2. Wankhede, A. Marine Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) For Ships - Properties, Challenges and Treatment Methods; Marine Insight; March 2019.