The old adage “you get what you pay for” is as true today as it has ever been. The level of investment in the future of our medical specialty of anesthesiology will, in large part, be a result of our commitment and dedicated resources to its success.
As I began working with the board of directors at the New Mexico Society of Anesthesiologists (NMSA) nearly three years ago, I took on the responsibility thinking that the society could maintain the current direction of affairs and that no individual, outside society or other special interest group would threaten the livelihood of our specialty. I couldn't have been more wrong. I refer you to the most recent article by Dr. Plagenhoef in the October ASA Newsletter entitled, "Threat Level ...? Reality Check Critical!" which addresses the severity of the threat before us.
For the nearly 200 members of the NMSA, it's important that we realize the work that goes on behind the scenes. As we've emphasized in previous correspondence to our membership, the board of directors to the NMSA work tirelessly on behalf of its members to protect the mission of the society, to provide the safest delivery of anesthesia to its patients, to continue to empower our membership with ongoing educational opportunities and to protect the interests of physician anesthesiologists and its patients alike. The website, www.nmsahq.org has a link under the membership tab that describes some of the many benefits that the NMSA provides its membership - see why join the NMSA?
This last year the board of directors sat down many times to discuss the affairs that affect physician anesthesiologists here in New Mexico.
We've observed states with great advocacy programs and seen the level of commitment at the resident physician level, or grassroots, all the way through retired members. Many resident programs across the United States are fully invested in their state societies and many retired members continue to give back to their societies having been the benefactors of an entire career of support and service.
We, as a board, would like each individual to contemplate their personal level of commitment to this, their specialty. We want all in the society to boldly look forward with ever greater commitment to efforts at the state and national levels. I'm sure that no one would disagree that physician anesthesiologists in the state of New Mexico are a rare breed and that our longevity in this state will depend greatly on our commitment level to our specialty and societies. We are the leaders and will continue to be the consummate source for perioperative care for all patients in all areas of anesthesia delivery.
To aide with this ongoing effort, we've hired an excellent and dedicated lobbyist, Art Hull, a public relations firm, the Waite Company led by Whitney Waite, and have employed an executive administrator in Jason Marshall, an employee of the Waite Company. These resources are the building blocks and the foundation of the vision we have for the NMSA.
In order to keep up with these ongoing efforts and to lead our society into the ever-changing arena of anesthesiology, we're increasing our society's membership dues to $600 in line with many societies across the country and equal to the national membership society beginning January 2015. We have joined the ASA in a unified dues billing program that will save both societies money which, in turn, will provide savings to their members. These dues will be collected by the ASA, who will then remit the state's portion back to us at the NMSA. This will allow both the NMSA and ASA to keep a better handle on our membership, to ensure proper communication channels are kept open allowing the flow of information to move seamlessly between organizations. Resident physicians will be privileged to join the NMSA for $100 annually and retired physician anesthesiologists and emeritus members will continue to be members for no charge. Anesthesiologist assistants may join the society for $300 annually. For those non-paying dues members, we encourage their monetary support to the state PAC, Patient Safety Advocates of New Mexico, however.
We would like each of us to consider the dollar amount that it would take to help fund the NMSA, the ASA and their respective PACs and their goals for the remainder of your career. Remember, “You get what you pay for.”
Beyond our society dues, we strongly encourage professional participation in both the state and national PACs with your annual or monthly contributions. We ask that you generously support these PACs and their efforts. Dr. Phil Snyder has worked hard as director of our new PAC and the link should be up on the website soon for your donation. Dr. Dave Siegel continues to lead the charge for the ASAPAC. These efforts will help us unite as a force with a powerful voice for good to protect and serve our patients here in New Mexico. Thank you for your continued support.
We encourage group practices to pay their dues with a single payment if at all possible and this can be arranged with Rachel Rusch at the ASA.
She can be reached at email@example.com.
Don't forget our annual meeting on February 28th, 2015,... see the website for registration. We look forward to getting together and hope to see you all there. Thanks again.
Cameron Burrup, MD