Professional societies provide a host of benefits for anesthesiologists and other healthcare professionals. Societies give healthcare professionals a significant competitive advantage over their peers by providing opportunities for personal and professional growth. There are four main benefits that come from joining a professional society:
- Professional societies create an opportunity for networking with other doctors, nurses and healthcare managers. When you partake as an active member of an extensive society network, you are able to collaborate and expand your knowledge by interacting with other like-minded people. Immersing yourself in the culture of a professional society helps keep you up to date with the latest discoveries and opportunities in the medical field, including the health management and anesthesia services fields.
- Continued education and mentoring. Societies provide access to seminars, journals, studies, and continued medical education courses, helping you stay up to date with new breakthroughs.1 Many professional societies offer certification courses to their members, allowing them to expand their educational credentials. Mentoring services are an invaluable resource to healthcare providers like you. Mentors can support your career development by focusing on any areas within your skillset that may be lacking. Additionally, both parties in a mentoring relationship serve to benefit as many find mentoring to be a rewarding experience that renews their enthusiasm for the medical field and for their desire to help others.
- Professional investment. There is intrinsic value in being invested in your profession, seeing as investment leads to unparalleled opportunities for growth. By showing dedication to your field, you can demonstrate that medicine is not only a job, but a lifestyle. Your strong sense of enthusiasm and commitment to excellent healthcare will have a magnetic effect on your colleagues and patients who will come to view you as an industry leader. As a result, you will likely feel more personally satisfied and confident in your role, allowing you to approach your practice with a more positive attitude.
- Monetary supports. Professional societies may offer various forms of monetary support in the form of discounts to certification programs and conferences, access to scholarships and grants; and may sometimes even include group rates on medical insurance.2 Professional societies also give monetary backing to support legislation that may benefit their members. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) advocates for “fair payment and lessened administrative burden by leading discussions about proposed and final rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that the interests of ASA members and their patients are represented,” allowing members an opportunity to make their voices heard.3 Professional Societies also protect their members by defending them against excessive regulatory change and company acquisitions that may be detrimental to individual healthcare providers, including anesthesiologists. The American Medical Association (AMA) reported in 2017 that “blocking the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger alone saved physicians at least $500 million in payments annually.”4
Joining a professional society has many advantages for those of us who work in healthcare. These advantages include opportunities for networking, furthering education, renewing passion for the practice, receiving and giving individualized mentorship, and monetary and legal support. The many benefits afforded to you by joining a professional society are more than likely to outweigh the cost of membership, making it an overall worthwhile investment.
- eCareers, Health. “4 Benefits of Joining Your Professional Healthcare Association.” Health ECareers, 9 Feb. 2018, www.healthecareers.com/article/career/the-benefits-of-joining-your-professional-healthcare-association.
- “6 Ways Professional Healthcare Associations Advance Your Career.” Top Personality Traits for Physical Therapists, www.jobs.net/Article/CB-4-Talent-Network-Healthcare-6-Ways-Professional-Healthcare-Associations-Advance-Your-Career.
- Member Benefits.” American Society of Anesthesiologists, asahq.org/member-center/member-benefits.
- “2017 AMA Annual Report.” American Medical Association, 2017, www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/2017-ama-annual-report.pdf.