Medical Associations

Most professionals in medical careers establish membership in a medical association at some point in their careers. Most respective fields in medicine have an associated professional association whose goal is to advance long-term career development. Medical associations empower members to do their best work. They provide professional education, such as continuing medical education (CME), and a multitude of resources that are medical-career specific. Medical associations are also advocacy groups taking on issues at the federal and state levels. Most medical associations have student chapters, which can be invaluable as you navigate your educational experience. There are many advantages to joining a medical association, whether as a student or a full-fledged professional.

If you took a survey, networking would be the number one reason and benefit of membership in a professional medical association. Networking is not a new concept, but in the last several years, it has become a key buzzword in many industries. "It's not what you know, it's who you know" is an old adage that reflects this concept. Today, it has become a daily, if not weekly, part of a professional's routine. Networking can also be an invaluable tool when you are faced with landing your first and subsequent opportunities in medical careers. Social media is the latest and greatest networking tool of the twenty-first century. Social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are routinely used by individuals and organizations to create communities for like-minded individuals. These forums engender the exchange of ideas and information, including updates, blogs, job prospects, and leads.

Up-to-date information on the latest trends and technologies in your medical field would be another benefit of membership in a medical association. Most medical careers are science based, and practices may undergo changes or modifications based upon recent research findings. Technology is constantly being advanced, which may also affect practice patterns. Most medical associations sponsor journals, speakers, CME, and conferences at the local, regional, and national levels, which help keep members abreast of new developments and technologies.

The opportunity to attend conferences or meetings is another benefit of membership in a professional medical association. Most medical associations hold conferences on local, regional, and national levels. These conferences can present a number of opportunities and be utilized in many different ways. Typically, there is a CME component to these meetings, which helps practitioners maintain licensing or certification. Guest speakers and exhibitions present opportunities for exchange of the latest information on professional trends and technologies. You can take advantage of networking during professional meetings, and you can vastly expand your contact list, which could help with future job prospects for you and others in your industry. Lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, and special programs at professional meetings enhance your chances to make contacts and network.

There are literally thousands of medical associations to investigate and consider membership in. Some examples are the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. The AAP is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The ACP is a national organization for physicians that practice internal medicine-the prevention, detection, and treatment of illnesses in adults. The ACP is the second-largest physician medical association in the United States. The AMA is a national organization for physicians and medical students. It promotes the art and science of medicine for the improvement of public health, advances the interests of physicians and patients, and raises money for medical education. It is the largest professional medical organization in the United States. The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national organization solely dedicated to representing the professional interests of all emergency medical service (EMS) practitioners. EMS professionals include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals providing prehospital emergency services.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014