The value of professional associations

The value of professional associations

“No man is an island,” the line made famous by English poet John Donne, went on to become familiar as the title of a book, a film, and even a record album. That’s probably because the phrase resonates with so many. While many of us like to think of ourselves and independent and self-sufficient, deep down we know that to be successful in life and in our careers, we truly do need other people – for support, for the exchange of ideas, for learning and teaching opportunities, and for connection and socialization. As a healthcare professional, whether clinical or administrative, joining and leveraging your membership in professionals associations is one very good way to avoid becoming an island and operating in a vacuum. Here are three associations to consider.

The MGMA-ACMPE (Medical Group Management Association-American College of Medical Practice Executives) has more than 22,000 members. The group sponsors a large annual conference every year and offers many educational events (live and online) throughout each year. The group’s mission, as stated on their website, is, “To elevate the performance of medical practice leaders and their organizations by connecting members, building partnerships, setting the standards for certification, advocating for physician practice and providing innovative solutions.” Dues are $365/year, plus a one-time application fee of $95. Each state also has its own chapter.

PAHCOM (Professional Association of Health Care Office Management) is a smaller organization than is the MGMA, and also offers an annual conference as well as educational and certification opportunities, and has local chapters in some states. First year dues are $195 ($145 in subsequent years).

The POMAA (Physician Office Managers Association of America) is new on the scene (formed in 2008), holds an annual conference, and has chapters in seven states. Dues are $155 for the first year and $129 thereafter, with additional dues for state chapters.

If a large organization is not your cup of tea, check with your local hospitals, county medical society, and state medical association to see if they sponsor any local or regional meetings or networking/educational events for medical office personnel.

Don’t overlook the possibility of creating your own local association of medical office professionals. Regularly scheduled gatherings with a group of colleagues over breakfast or lunch either at an area restaurant or in someone’s office can create an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and network.

Whether you join a national, state, or local organization, take full advantage of your membership by getting involved. These types of groups often depend on members to volunteer to serve on committees and help organize events. When you step up and take an active role in your professional association, you’ll get to know colleagues at a deeper level and contribute to the success of the group.