ACEP’s new strategic plan strives to make it simpler to find and feel connected to your corner of the bigger ACEP community. We understand that the College has a lot of members spanning all locations, ages, backgrounds and interests, so it can be hard to meet new people or get plugged in. We want to make that easier.
ACEP offers a number of ways you can get involved, from committees and sections to the 911 Advocacy network. But those groups involve a certain level of commitment, and they don’t cover every interest of our members. That’s why we’re adding a new way to meet people and build your ACEP community: Member Interest Groups (MIG).
These new interest groups can be organized around any particular hobby, interest, or topic/issue. The startup process is quick, and there is no cost for members to join the groups. Much of the discussion will take place online in dedicated engagED forums, but interest group leaders are also encouraged to organize get-togethers in person during ACEP events or virtually throughout the year.
You might be thinking, what’s the difference between ACEP’s sections and member interest group? For starters, sections have a formal structure and expectations. It takes considerable time and effort to establish a new section, which must be approved by the ACEP Board of Directors. Once established, ACEP sections receive formal funding, must submit regular reports and updates, and are assigned specific Board and staff liaisons to support their efforts. Sections also elect a representative for the ACEP Council, so they have an opportunity to weigh in on College policies and strategy.
By contrast, member interest groups are more casual. MIGs can be spun up very quickly, and any ACEP member in good standing can join as many interest groups as they want without added cost. It’s even possible that some interest groups which are related to the clinical or administrative practice of EM may grow into full-fledged sections over time. If you’ve thought about joining a section but aren’t sure where to begin, joining one or more of these new interest groups could be a great way to get started.
The first member interest group to be formally established is focused on members at or approaching clinical retirement. Led by former ACEP President Mark Rosenberg, DO, FACEP, and former ACEP Chair of the Board Stephen Anderson, MD, FACEP, this MIG was created to share resources and build a network of physicians nearing the end of their careers who would like to continue to advance ACEP and the profession. The group leaders want it to be a place where longtime ACEP members help share their knowledge and personal experience with EM physicians at earlier career stages.
“ACEP’s new strategic plan is purposefully member-focused, with a goal to be the organization all members, at every stage of their career, look to for meaning, passion and solutions,” Dr. Anderson said. “It seemed there was a wealth of experience and knowledge in this [at or nearing retirement] group that was going untapped. The potential members not only can mentor a younger set, but as their mantra goes, they can remain relevant. Plus, our group has shared decades in the same orbit, truly desired its own forum to solve its own unique challenges.”
Find Your Connections to the ACEP Community
Each month, ACEP4U will highlight and expand on a specific pillar of ACEP’s new strategic plan. This month, we focus on Member Engagement & Trust.
More than 100 ACEP members were involved in developing ACEP’s new strategic plan to guide the College for the next three to five years. John Corker, MD, FACEP, was
one of the members who helped develop the strategies for the Member Engagement & Trust pillar. As immediate past chair of the Young Physicians Section, he thinks it is important to make it as easy as possible for members to connect with one another and feel invested in the work of the College.
“For the long-term sustainability and success of our organization, there‘s no more critical component than membership engagement and communication. Our members have to be aware, on board with, and feel invested in what we‘re doing as an organization.”
—John Corker, MD, FACEP, Member Engagement Strategic Planning Group
The Member Engagement & Trust portion of the strategic plan features five key strategies to ensure the thoughtful acquisition and management of resources:
- Leverage personalization and issue/interest-based engagement to facilitate connections and passive volunteering that’s transparent, respectful, and personally meaningful.
- Create new leadership development programs that are more accessible, inclusive and impactful within ACEP and beyond.
- Re-imagine bridge from candidate to regular membership.
- Develop recognition and rewards to honor all levels of engagement.
- Measure and showcase the diversity and character of ACEP leaders and members.[/sidebar]
Dr. Anderson said that ACEP members near retirement are facing a variety of lifestyle questions as they start to move on from the emergency department. From finances to alternative jobs, health issues, travel and hobbies, there is much for the group to discuss as they seek to find purpose in this new phase of their career and life. The group was able to meet for the first time during ACEP22 in San Francisco.
In addition to the new At or Approaching Clinical Retirement group, another interest group was recently established for travel enthusiasts to share their favorite destinations, itineraries, restaurants and more.
These Member Interest Groups are just getting started, but other ideas are already circulating. Are you interested in entrepreneurship or non-traditional career paths? We’re working on a group for you. Is there an appetite for a group dedicated to balancing EM and parenthood? On the hobby level, ideas are swirling for bourbon afficionados, cyclists and more.
Do you have a hobby or issue you’d want to chat with your peers about? Consider starting your own member interest group. Learn more at engaged.acep.org/migs.
How to Start a Member Interest Group (MIG)
- Review the ACEP Member Interest Group Policy at engaged.acep.org/migs.
- Check for duplication. New groups need to cover topics and interests that are not yet covered by existing MIGS, sections, committees, chapters or membership categories.
- Complete the Member Interest Group Request Form at engaged.acep.org/migs. Unsure whether a topic would have enough interest to generate good discussion? Feel free to put feelers out to other members or staff before submitting your request.
Jordan Grantham is senior content manager at ACEP.