The Pros and Cons of Joining Your Professional Organization
Professional organizations are made up of members of the profession who are working toward a common goal of promoting and improving the profession. They advocate for the members of the profession as well as for the consumers to improve the delivery and quality of health care. They bond together to offer members information, perks, and opportunities they might not otherwise have.
The cost of joining a professional organization can be steep, and many times this is the deterrent. However, the dues are tax deductible (consult your tax advisor). Some people, however, just don't find a need to join organizations. Perhaps the most important consideration for joining your professional organization is the statement it makes about your personal commitment to your profession and your professionalism. It adds credibility to your resume and to your business. Some of the other benefits include the lobbyists and advocates who work to improve the profession as well as the health care in this country. Another is the personal and professional growth opportunities that becoming an active member offer to you.
Organizations are always in need of new blood to help organize such things as their annual conventions, workshops and seminars, and continuing-education opportunities, as well as to work on legislative committees and other organizational building teams. Helping your organization work to improve your profession as well as to help improve the overall health care in this country can be a rewarding opportunity.
For those who prefer not to be so actively involved, membership serves other purposes. Insurance benefits, including health and life insurance, are often available through professional organizations. And getting malpractice insurance through a large group can result in much more affordable rates and even better coverage.
Professional organizations also offer tremendous networking opportunities for members to share ideas and brainstorm, to vent and commiserate, and to give members a sense that they are not alone in the challenges presented by their particular profession and health care in general. Opportunities to learn about new techniques, career options, etc., are invaluable benefits to group members.
Educational opportunities through seminars and workshops at annual conventions and throughout the year are sponsored and conducted by the organization as well as by members. These are usually open to nonmembers as well, but cost savings is the perk to members.
Group discounts for professional as well as personal services are often a perk to members of any organization. Members usually get substantial discounts for events and educational opportunities offered through their professional organizations.
Many members who lead very busy professional as well as personal lives depend on their professional organization to brief them on important industry changes, legislation that impacts their practices, advances in technology, and scientific discoveries. Most organizations publish a trade journal as well.
Through your professional organization you will also find access to mentors and have an opportunity to participate in mentoring others should you so desire.