The dotcom generation has me perplexed. The Class of ’99, that is, those emergency medicine residency trained physicians who completed training before the college closed, were once a very vocal group. In their twenties, these residents clamored to close the college. That is, they wanted the American College of Emergency Physicians to close membership to practicing emergency physicians who did not complete an emergency medicine residency prior to 2000.
After a lengthy and contentious debate, ACEP did indeed limit its active membership by requiring emergency medicine residency training of all physicians who joined after the year 2000.
Eight years later, these same physicians are established in their practices, and fifty percent of them have abandoned the college that closed the doors FOR THEM. ACEP established a 3 year tiered system of dues for new graduates, saving them from the sticker shock of professional dues. The Young Physicians Section was established to give young doctors a voice in the college and a forum for support and exchange of ideas. Now the time has come for this generation of physicians to pay back (or forward) ……..and they’re not doing it. Why is that?
I don’t have the space in this blog to fully include everything that ACEP does for the members. Let me just address the number one reason that I am given when I ask why eligible physicians are not members…….money. Because of ACEP activities, reimbursement for all emergency physicians will increase by 7% this year. According to the Certified Compensation Professional’s 2006 salary survey, emergency physicians average $214,720 annual salary in 2006. Simple mathematics concludes that 7 percent of $214,720 is $15,000. That will pay for ACEP dues AND chapter dues for fifteen years.
Being a professional means being more than being someone who punches a clock. It means a life-long commitment to a career. It means participating with your peers in an organization that promotes growth and development of your specialty. For us, it means being part of a group dedicated to improving healthcare for everyone.
Time to grow up.