By Scott A.B. Collins, MD
What’s a state dermatology society without an active, engaged membership? With society members often spanning an entire state, it can be hard to keep a diverse membership connected and informed. The following is a list of strategies that societies can employ to ensure members get the most value from their membership by keeping them engaged in local society activities and priorities.
Visit the AAD website for state society resources and services.
1. Offer CME at your annual meeting: Develop CME courses for Annual Meeting that are unique and use an interactive learning format such as case-based discussion, small group discussion, and/or expert panels with discussion of pearls and pitfalls. Reach out to your local membership to give brief talks (five to 10 minutes) in a "blitz-information" format.
2. Targeted outreach to young physicians and residents: Engage young physicians and residents by offering mentorship programs, scholarship opportunities, and targeted social activities at your annual meeting. Establish a young physician and resident position on your board.
3. Involvement in state policy: Encourage your members to get involved with state policy. Share frequent updates on the “State of your state” such as indoor tanning legislation, regulatory policies, or latest news on working with payers. Consider holding a monthly conference call to update members, and be sure to allow time for questions and answers.
4. Annual membership surveys: Engage your members by conducting an annual membership survey. A survey is an excellent opportunity to gauge your members’ interests and to help define your society’s priorities. A survey can help determine an advocacy agenda for your state.
5. Formal volunteer program: Offer community service and patient education programs such as public education programs for schools or events to raise awareness of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure. Find events across your state where you can schedule free skin screenings.
If you would like to partner with the AAD on any of the initiatives listed above, please contact Linda Ayers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Collins is chair of the AADA’s State Society Development Task Force and a member of the Council on Government Affairs Health Policy and Practice. He’s currently practicing in Oregon, where he specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery and procedural dermatology.