Over the past year, the Membership committee has been busy evaluating our current membership trends and developing a strategic action plan to energize recruitment of new members and retention of current members. This year our total number of members increased again to 2855 members (a 3% increase from 2013), with a stable number of active members (1071) from last year. Other notable positive trends include an increase in medical student members (a 9.7% increase from 2013) as well as an increase in candidate members (an 18% increase from last year and a 125% increase from 2011). While these trends are very exciting, it is equally important to continue to enhance our active membership numbers and to address ways to improve active and senior member retention in the association.
In line with our association’s strategic mission, the committee is addressing membership goals in the following ways this upcoming year:
- Revitalize the Institutional Representative (IR) Program
- Survey the executive council and membership to identify core benefits of the AAS to its members and how the value of membership in the association can be best translated towards recruitment of new student, candidate, and active members. This survey will then be used to inform a survey of the greater membership.
- Enhance membership recruitment from individuals who submit research to the ASC but are not current members through a more formalized and organized membership drive.
Institutional Representative Revitalization Efforts
The institutional representatives are our connections to each institution that we serve. They will be charged with the role of promoting our association, recruiting new members at their program, and communicating individual institution needs back to the organization. In September 2014, the AAS submitted a call to the membership for new Institutional Representatives. To date, we already have responses from 59 programs. As part of the tools being provided to all Institutional Reps, we will be developing a more uniform collection of informational resources, links, videos, and documents that can better facilitate spreading the message and value of membership in the AAS. We will be kicking off this new program with an informational and networking breakfast for new institutional reps at the Academic Surgical congress next February.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the AAS, and the membership committee is looking forward to a very productive year. We are also interested in hearing more from our membership:
- Tell us how the AAS has fostered your professional development in leadership, research, education, networking, and/or mentorship?
- What has been the most important contribution that the AAS has made to your academic career?
- Finally, tell us one deliverable that the AAS can provide to better foster the academic growth and careers of its members.