As a newly minted physician anesthesiologist, I had no idea how to become involved in the CSA and ASA structure. My residency program had signed me up as a member and, as a good professional citizen, I continued as a member after finishing my training. This was the beginning of my professional career in organized medicine.
Each of us will have a different path into the CSA and ASA in terms of interest, timing, or level of involvement. For many years my path was via the CSA House of Delegates. That eventually led to leadership positions in the CSA and ultimately the ASA. However, the path for many of us may take twists and turns or stops and starts, depending on our interests, careers, and family obligations.
One way to dip your toe in the water at the ASA is to become a member of an ASA committee. Many committees only meet face-to-face at the Annual Meeting, and conduct most business via email or conference calls. This makes it possible to participate without a huge commitment to travel or time away from practice. Some of the larger and busier committees do require more of a travel or time commitment. Look over the list of committees; you will likely find something that speaks to your interests and skills.
The incoming ASA President appoints ASA committee members. The term of a committee member will vary, but an initial committee appointment is for two years and may be renewed. In order to be appointed, you MUST self-nominate. That process is open now for committee appointments beginning in October, 2017. This is a long lag time, but the appointment process is complicated by bylaws, administrative procedures, and other requirements.
Below are instructions on how to self-nominate for a committee, excerpted from information provided by the ASA:
“ASA is now accepting self-nominations and colleague nominations for 2018 committees and editorial boards. The electronic nomination forms can be accessed at https://www.asahq.org/member-center/appointments-nominations, and are open until January 15, 2017. To standardize the process and facilitate appointments, ASA requires the use of these electronic forms in order to be considered.”
For a complete list of current ASA committees and editorial boards, their members, and chairs with term end dates, visit http://www.asahq.org/about-asa/governance-and-committees/asa-committees.
ASA members must complete a self-nomination form https://www.asahq.org/member-center/appointments-nominations (requires ASA login) if they wish to volunteer for service. Committee and editorial board members whose terms expire in October, 2017, must reapply in order to be considered for reappointment. Committee and editorial board members whose terms expire in 2018 or 2019 need not reapply at this time.
On the nomination form, space is provided for a short narrative on why you want to serve on the committee or editorial board. These comments are especially important for potential new members of a committee or editorial board, and will be considered by those involved in recommending the membership appointments (committee chair, section chair, division chair, and ultimately, the President-Elect who makes the final appointments). In addition, you will be asked to upload your current CV in PDF format.
ASA members may recommend colleagues for appointments; such nominees must also complete the self-nomination. This is intended to ensure that individuals nominated are willing to serve.
ASA is fortunate to have many talented volunteers seeking nomination. Unfortunately, not all nominees can be appointed, as there are a limited number of positions.
Please note specifically the information on colleague nominations/ recommendations above. You should name people on the nomination form who are willing to write in support of your committee membership. As ASA Director from California. I am happy to endorse CSA members. Please send a copy of your CV and the committees you have applied for to me before January 1, 2017, so I can write a note of support on your behalf.