If you’re not a very social person, you may look on professional organizations with a bit of uncertainty. Cocktail parties, awards dinners and other demands on your already hectic schedule may seem like more trouble than they’re worth. Yet local and national healthcare organizations are much more than glorified social groups: They can provide valuable resources and tips for making your practice more efficient, keep you abreast of emerging trends in your field and even give you a voice in issues that affect your profession.
Stay up to date
Education is a key benefit of membership in [made this change to fill in white space in first line] any professional organization. Though you may already attend conferences in your specialty, professional groups usually provide access to a substantial number of free resources: speakers, papers, books, gatherings, etc. Learn from your colleagues what new technologies they’re finding most useful in their practices and what equipment investments you may be able to safely avoid. Professional organizations may also provide access to continuing education courses that you need to stay current and licensed in your field.
Share your voice
Clinical issues — ranging from potential regulations to billing and insurance requirements to new technologies and treatment methods — may impact how you treat patients and earn your living. Professional organizations can help you stay current on changes and what you need to know. They may also enable you to play an active role. Keep in mind that healthcare professionals are an important part of local and national conversations on many issues. Joining a professional organization may give you a podium to be heard by decision-makers and reporters seeking comments on important issues.
Network with others
A network of professionals is a way to connect with others in your field, learn from their best practices, share your own experiences and meet people who may become partners or associates down the road. Professional organizations offer a variety of ways to meet people and stay in touch.
Of course, just joining an organization won’t make much of a difference in your professional life unless you make an effort to become actively involved. Sign up for committees, attend functions and introduce yourself. As you begin to realize the benefits, you may find yourself becoming not only a member of such organizations, but also one of their most enthusiastic supporters.
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