Whether you are still in school, you are just finishing up your education, or are moving into a new field, you may be looking for help and resources to grow and develop as a medical professional. While schools and work may provide some resources and connections that can help you to network and increase your potential, professional organizations offer great opportunities to their members to learn and grow as they navigate their chosen field of medicine.
Often when you are just starting out, springing for the membership fees and dues necessary to join professional organizations may seem a frivolous expense, but if you look at the long-term benefits of membership, the costs are typically well worth the sacrifice. Not sure about what professional organizations can offer you? Here are a few of the great benefits that you can take advantage of when joining:
As you are building your career, it can be difficult to find the time to meet new people and make the connections necessary to advance in your career. Through the networking opportunities that are available through organizations, you can meet a range of people – from those just starting out who share similar experiences and goals to some of the best and brightest minds in your field.
Continuing education courses, conferences, and other learning opportunities are frequently available. Look for events hosted by local chapters of professional organizations or search their website and newsletter for information about regional and national conferences and meetings for unique educational travel opportunities.
Access to research and information
In many organizations, there are a multitude of research papers and scholarly articles that can be of assistance to you as you work to further your career. In many cases, the general public cannot access these papers without subscription or membership, but organization members are able to use these materials without additional cost.
Within some organizations, you are able to take advantage of mentoring programs that can allow you one on one access to those who are already established in your chosen field. As your experience grows over your career, you may wish to share your knowledge with others and become a mentor yourself. This gives you an opportunity to give back and also is a wonderful addition to your resume.
When you are searching for a position, you may be able to access job listings within your professional organization and have unique opportunities that may not be open to the public. Hiring those with an affiliation to a professional organization can often be a higher priority to others who are members, as well. Additionally, the people that you meet and develop relationships with as a member can often serve as references as you are going through the application process for a new position.
Your own personal career goals and needs will help you to determine which professional organization is the right choice for you.