Don’t Be Intimidated
Medical societies can be complex organizations, but don’t let that scare you off. Pediatric otolaryngologist Danny Chelius, MD, former chair of the AAO–HNS section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training and an assistant professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said it’s crucial to step forward and volunteer because you won’t understand and learn about the society until you’re in the midst of doing the work. “That’s where you understand what the opportunities are to make the biggest impact,” he said, “so don’t be scared to take a leap and step forward into the society.”
Everyone’s time is limited, so choosing to be on committees that matter most to you is important because responsibilities can often snowball. And, if you do take on a role, give it your all; not only are your colleagues counting on you, but also, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
“If you believe something is important, then volunteering will actually wind up being an amazing educational opportunity,” Dr. Chelius said. “It was through volunteering for leadership roles in the Academy that I learned about the breadth and opportunities of the [organization], and that led me to be able to be more targeted and focused in the things that are most important to me and the ways that I can make an impact.”