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February 2014
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President's Message: Volunteering with IDSA Can Take Many Forms
As ID Specialists, the work we do each day is challenging but impactful and rewarding, and we are committed to the future of our field. Communicating our specialty’s value in the rapidly changing healthcare environment is an important focus of IDSA. To succeed, it requires each of us to participate, however we each can, as we balance the time we devote to the advancement of our field with our commitment to our patients, our research, and our families.

While the most obvious way to play an active role in the Society is to become a member of an IDSA committee or task force, there are numerous additional ways to participate that may be better suited to the time you have available and still contribute a great deal to the advancement of the field.

IDSA has made it easier for us to communicate the value of the ID Specialist by developing a tool kit that highlights a recent study by researchers at IDSA and Avalere, which found that early intervention by an ID specialist saves lives and reduces medical costs. A slide presentation (.ZIP) summarizes the valuable findings from the study, which can be incorporated into formal presentations or casual meetings. The important thing is to share these messages with myriad audiences.

It’s also important that we tell our story—and those of our patients—to policymakers who influence federal funding decisions and to members of Congress who are considering legislation that would help spur the development of new diagnostics and antimicrobials. Consider taking a few moments to share your stories with the IDSA staff. These stories make IDSA’s advocacy efforts, both on Capitol Hill and with the media, much more powerful as they put a human “face” on our message. They could be about any of the issues that we face on a daily basis: illustrative examples of antimicrobial resistance; the need for better, faster diagnostics; or the impact of federal budget cuts on the care you provide or your research. Join IDSA’s Member Advocacy Program (MAP) to become more involved in the Society’s advocacy efforts.

Another way to contribute is to lend your experience and expertise to reviewing research. IDSA’s journals, including the newly launched Open Forum Infectious Diseases (OFID), rely upon peer reviewers, and the Journal Club feature found in each issue of this publication relies upon volunteers to summarize must-read studies from the medical literature.   

Develop the future of our field by becoming a mentor for a student or resident through IDSA’s Medical Scholars Program or the HIVMA Minority Clinical Fellowship. This is an opportunity to ensure that the best and brightest continue to choose infectious diseases as a specialty.

Share your knowledge, insights, and expertise with colleagues across the country and around the world by participating in the Emerging Infections Network.

There are many more opportunities to be involved with the Society. IDSA is a Society of dedicated professionals committed to the future of our field. It’s important that we take the time to invest in its future.

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