New Year’s Resolution: Get Involved In Your State Association

Patrick DeHeer DPM FACFAS

Well, it is that time of year again. It is the time for New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, stop smoking, read more, exercise more, etc. We have all made resolutions and sometimes keep them. Here is one I would ask you to consider for this upcoming year: become involved with your state podiatric medical association.

I have been a continuing medical education chairperson for the past 10 years and I am second vice president this year for the Indiana Podiatric Medical Association. The CE committee and I work very hard to put a top quality seminar together every fall. To my dismay, roughly 30 percent of the membership attend. Sure, there are meetings that are cheaper and in more glamorous locations. However, 30 percent is pathetic and it is time to call those out who do not support their state association.

It is not just Indiana. It happens in several other states as well. When we have a board position open up, sometimes it is astonishingly difficult to find someone to step up to the plate. To those who are involved, thank you. To those who attend their state meeting, thank you.

If you do not attend your state meeting, why? Is it the cost? Is it the location? Is it the program content? Whatever the reason, give it another chance and go. If something needs to be changed, then get involved and help make changes.

This is how I got involved. I complained about the quality of the meeting and got myself drafted to be on the CE committee. By the next year, I was chairperson. Going to the meeting is not only supporting your state association. It is a chance to build camaraderie and strengthen your podiatric community.

Why are you not involved with the state association in some capacity? Not enough time? It really does not take that much time and you learn so much by being involved, not to mention how many people you get to know.

Don’t want to be involved in “politics”? That is what I used to say. I was fine being on the CE committee. Then I was asked to be trustee and became involved with the board.

It has been an enlightening experience and I am glad I did it. Start with a small step. Just get on a committee and see where it takes you. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I wish everyone a great 2010 and all of the best to the podiatric profession I am so proud to be a small part of. Take a moment to give some consideration to your state association and attend your meeting this year. Challenge others in your state to become involved. Strength lies in unity. Let us make sure our states are strong.

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