ORLANDO—Triological Society members should seek out ways to keep the society relevant, both today and in the future, said Jesus E. Medina, MD, during his Presidential Address here on April 12 at the Triological Society’s 116th Annual Meeting. The meeting was held as part of the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings. Click here to listen to the entire address, and click here for Dr. Medina’s slide presentation (PDF).
Explore this issue:April 2013
“To determine our relevance as a scientific society, we must determine what is pertinent to our members,” added Dr. Medina. Once this is done, he said, the society will be able to determine what steps to take to maintain the organization’s position as a strong force in the field of otolaryngology.
Identifying Key Elements
To gather this information and to determine the value of membership, the society sent 69 of its newest members a survey asking for their reflections on the reasons why they made the decision to become members. More than half responded.
Through an analysis of the feedback, the society identified seven key reasons why these new members sought to join the organization:
- Membership affords the opportunity to contribute and advance academic and scholarly research within the field;
- Membership is considered prestigious, and those persons respected in the field are members.
- Membership is viewed as necessary for professional development and for attaining professional and personal goals;
- Current members, mentors or influential colleagues encouraged them to seek membership;
- Membership is viewed as a gateway or prerequisite for membership and leadership opportunities in other societies;
- The Triological Society promotes a cross-discipline focus and specialty unity;
- Membership is a way to enhance increased funding opportunities and research grants to expand the field.
“Given that the No. 1 reason listed by the new members is to contribute,” said Dr. Medina, “it behooves us to continue to be creative in finding more opportunities for them to present their work at our meetings.” Another way is for members to contribute to the society’s journal, The Laryngoscope, he added.
As presenting and publishing is the intended outcome of research, another pertinent marker of the society’s relevance is how well it’s doing on funding that research, he said. The amount of money given by the TRIO in the form of grants to support research has increased dramatically over the past decade. Presently, the society gives $440,000 a year in grants to support research, the largest amount of money to support research given by any organization in otolaryngology, said Dr. Medina. “I’m pleased to say this is an area in which we’re doing exceedingly well.”