As I think about membership issues for the Medical Society it always comes down to “making the case” to potential members to join. I’d like to list 5 reasons you are wrong not to join.
“I don’t need an advocate for my practice.”
It’s a fact that most MDs are becoming employees and are not becoming independent practitioners. As a result, most physicians feel the value of a medical society membership to an employed physician is limited. I have yet to see any instance where ANYONE’s voice is amplified in larger organizations. Large organizations are interested in one thing: the survival of the larger organization. Plus, there is no evidence that governmental oversight into our daily practice is getting less. When there is disagreement or conflict, you better have another cadre of experienced and tough individuals that you know will not see your concerns or the needs of your patient as “secondary” to the needs of the organization.
“The dues are too expensive.”
Really? The money we spend on malpractice,
re-certification, and ACOs is related to expenses that are necessary but are forced upon us – a sort of “pay to play”. Medical Society dues are the rare situation where you pay to have direct access to information and advocacy tailored to your needs. I guarantee what you pay for the other expenses far exceeds your dues.
“I don’t have time to be involved.”
Being active in membership is always encouraged, but there is no requirement to be directly involved other than to support the mission and goals of the Society which place the patient’s needs and the physicians training and expertise as paramount in any healthcare system. Also, the Medical Society is one of the few remaining settings for social engagement with professional colleagues. If you believe that your professional life is one dimensional, not threatened by the changes in medicine and your role as a physician is entirely based in the office and does not extend to the community or interacting with your professional colleagues, then membership is not for you.
“Most of what the Medical Society offers I can get without a membership.”
There is no doubt there are palpable benefits to our region that can be traced back to Medical Society activities that indirectly benefit nonmembers and the community at large. Know this: The Medical Society values your voice as a member above and beyond other professional society memberships. Why? When it comes to caring for your patients, all healthcare is local. Now more than ever we are seeing dramatic changes in the medical field most of which are new and untried. If we want to continue to have a local independent voice in this new environment we need a large, engaged physician presence. It helps no one to remain a “squatter” member.
“There’s nothing special our Medical Society can offer me personally.”
The personal growth from membership is probably the most undervalued benefit of the Medical Society. Unless you are a unique individual, we all need mentors and role models to continue to grow. Very rarely do things change with doing the same thing, the same way, all the time. For me personally, my membership and activity on the Medical Society board has given me an opportunity to improve my leadership skills and business practices, and to develop a public persona that has allowed me to have a leadership position in the community and respected voice at my institution.
The Monroe County Medical Society mission, leadership, solvency and respect in the community is unparalleled and is likely more appreciated and respected by other organizations locally and statewide than our own physician community. Membership is a very solid financial, professional, and personal investment. There is no good (or bad) reason not to join.