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The Value of Membership

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Why join a medical society?

Pamela Paxton, a sociology professor from The University of Texas at Austin says “There is a lot of evidence that our democracy is based on having citizens connected with one another and when we connect with one another in associations we learn that our self-interest is actually connected to the interests of others. That gives us a conception of the public good, common identity and sense of common responsibility as a nation and as citizens.”

As healthcare continues to change, physicians face unprecedented assaults on the one thing they worked years to attain: the opportunity to care for others. Noble calling in a world void of nobility. Still, as a colleague reminded me today, perhaps it’s time to change the narrative from “the sky is falling” to “the opportunities are endless” because there is tremendous strength and satisfaction when a) the individual feels like he/she is part of something larger than themselves and b) the individual feels like he/she is supported, defended, vital and appreciated. Joining a medical association should be as natural as completing residency. It’s not. Today’s young MDs have choices to invest in whatever, wherever their passion and loyalty lies. Older MDs may feel like they haven’t seen tangible benefits.

For those MDs still kicking the tires, here are a few things to consider:

The Los Angeles Medical Association (LACMA) has more than 15 companies ready to help you be as successful as possible. We fight for legislation beneficial to the practice of medicine and rise up against policy and regulations that make it impossible to deliver high quality care. We help physicians define their own brand identity; propel MDs within a community, specialty, practice model and industry.

What other organization can do that? None.

Our partnership with the California Medical Association (CMA) creates a powerful resource for physicians throughout the diverse and expansive Los Angeles market. We also provide an environment for doctors to have fulfilling relationships, professional networking and leadership opportunities, career advancement leads, and easy access to recommendations, resources and advice on a wealth of business or patient care topics. We then take it to another level by creating a physician-centric network that fosters connections as well promotes innovations, exceptional outcomes and transformative approaches to patient care.

One example of this model is La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills, CA. As group members of LACMA their specialists are showcased across various physician environments and communications channels. The result is more timely and relevant physician content, greater awareness for procedures, outcomes, improved referrals from neighboring physicians and a more unified, collaborative platform. The value of membership is now redefined as we continue to discover, cultivate and test new, tangible benefits for physicians. Still, some physicians may resort to the famous line from Meat Loaf’s 1977 anthem, ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’:

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

If doctors need additional time to embrace the value of membership in a medical organization I hope you reconsider for one simple reason: the sky isn’t falling because of organized medicine and, yes, shelter from insidious storms isn’t free. It’s invaluable, affordable and ensures that you’re always protected, defended and ultimately, valued. Still curious?

Members, take action, get involved.

If you are a physician and not currently a member, join now.


Gustavo Friederichsen
Los Angeles County Medical Association

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