Gary Tzeng, MD
Why Professional Societies are Worth It
In March 2017, Amol Utrankar (Vanderbilt MS4, ASA Med Student Governing Council) blogged
"Why pay an annual subscription fee to join a club, add a line to your CV, and pay respects to the Guild? At first, I felt similarly skeptical.As a digital native, I was confident that I didn't need my professional society.I had a blog. I had a Twitter account and LinkedIn profile.I could advocate and network for myself."
Or so he thought.However, he quickly realized that he needed his Society in order to:
- 1."Know what's happening in your field and where it's headed"
- 2."Learn, do, and network at the Annual Meeting!"
- 3."Support the people who are fighting for your future."
Dr. Scott Jellish answered the question of why ISA membership matters. He described how the ISA has been busy working on your behalf -- monitoring and creating legislation, reaching out to you, our members, and trying to create opportunities for personal as well as professional development.Thank you, Scott, for your hard work.
The ISA is your organization.During the upcoming year, we will be re-examining the roles of your Board members and Officers to seek opportunities to improve and enhance service.The ISA not only serves as your voice as an Illinois anesthesiologist, but also as a voice to the ASA as well as to our non-anesthesiologist colleagues, both medical and non-medical, local and national. The ISA functions to enact what you feel and what you think. In order to accomplish that goal, we need to hear from you.Resolutions, directives, complaints…all of it.While the ISA frequently tells you what we need or want you to do, I want YOU to tell us what the ISA needs or should do!We are a team. So please speak up!
The HOD meeting is about learning and networking and hopefully, doing!After the HOD meeting, all of us should have better insight into what is happening in our field -especially in our crazy state. We will continue our pursuit of enabling Anesthesiology Assistants to practice in our state.We will continue to educate our Legislators about the potential perils of enabling lesser-trained medical professionals to expand into non-supervised roles.We will continue to work as a team to improve the opiate and benzodiazepine crises. Thanks to Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran for his tireless work in this arena.But most importantly, we will continue to advocate for our patients and their accessibility to appropriate healthcare.We will engage in an arduous but ultimately useful task of examining and interpreting the various practice acts.The intention of this interpretive guideline is to clarify the roles of all healthcare providers to facilitate the evaluation of future healthcare legislation. The ISA and its members and allies have devoted countless amounts of energy to keep our specialty functioning in our primary role as our patients' advocate during their times of great vulnerability. Our mission has always been and will always remain to protect the practice of medicine and protect anesthesiology as a practice of medicine so that we can protect our patients. Join us as a supporter, as a lobbyist, but most importantly, as a physician constituent.
To that end, we have finally completed our multi-year effort at improving communication by developing a contemporary, fresh and agile website!I will be redefining the Electronics Communications & Media Subcommittee of our existing Communications Committee to better maintain this webpage so that it remains updated, relevant and most importantly, a useful tool for all of our members. This Subcommittee will also continue to evaluate other potential forms of communication. (please let me know if you want to be involved)While membership dues will still be collected by the ASA, our new website will allow for ISAPAC contributions, member event registration and even legislative initiatives.Please check out www.isahq.org and provide feedback.We do listen!
The ISA has made important progress in engaging our members that reside below I-80, but acknowledges that we need to do more. We want to represent all of our members, not just greater Chicagoland.In response to our membership, we no longer provide CMEs.Rather, we have modified our educational mission to provide locally focused education about non-academic topics such as regulation, legislation, practice management, and leadership.Therefore, expect more Practice Management seminars and social engagements. Also, we will expand our excellent Fall Leadership Conference to include a workshop to enhance personal leadership development.We will continue to address MACRA, QCDR and any other acronym or topic that affects us all.As much as is feasible, we want to provide the local resources that you need and/or desire for your local practice.So please let us know how we can help you.
On a fiscal note, multiple strategies enacted over multiple years by multiple Boards along with a little luck have resulted in a monetary surplus this year.As an effort to reduce the sting of membership dues, the ISA will reward active members with a $200 rebate gift card of their choosing.More details will follow and it will require minimal participation. It really does pay to belong and participate!
In conclusion, we, the ISA, have had a few successes in the recent past but as all of you know, there continue to be ongoing battles.In order to remain successful, we need you to help us help all of us. As the VA Handbook dilemma demonstrated, we must act as a team to accomplish significance.
I cannot promise to fix all, if any, of our problems, but I will promise that you will not face them alone. As the Peace Pilgrim from NY has said, "One little person, giving all of his or her time, makes news.Many people, giving some of their time, can make history."
Join me and let us make history…together.