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December 2014
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From the President: My Membership in IDSA is Part of My Identity as an ID Physician
I have been a member of IDSA for 35 years and wanted to use this opportunity, as the Society begins its membership renewal and enrollment campaign, to reflect on why being a member of this Society has been so important to me. IDSA is the professional society that best represents my subspecialty of medicine, its core values and the broad range of interests encompassed in that specialty, from research and education to clinical practice to ensuring that the profession many of us consider a calling, continues to thrive. Membership in IDSA is part of my identity as an Infectious Disease physician.

The Society provides many important activities that have contributed directly to my own professional career development, as well as those of the young people drawn to our specialty. These include outstanding educational opportunities including the annual meeting (now IDWeek), unmatched career and advocacy support, and countless ways to connect, network and consult with ID professionals.  In addition, IDSA provides invaluable materials including a set of robust practice guidelines that help with guiding effective patient care every day; a growing portfolio of resources to assist members in communicating the value of ID within their networks; access to three outstanding journals (including Clinical Infectious Diseases, The Journal of Infectious Diseases and the new, innovative open access Open Forum Infectious Diseases); and a number of very helpful Member Services such as career opportunity postings, daily news summaries, the Emerging Infections Network (EIN), CDC alerts and many others.

IDSA represents more than 10,000 members and the size and diversity of its membership allows it to effectively advocate at the national, state and local levels for issues important to the practice of Infectious Disease, for funding and furthering important research priorities, and for improving public health and infectious disease prevention.

The Society has focused a lot on attracting the best and brightest young people into this specialty, certainly a key issue given the recent declines in the match results, as well as providing opportunities for these people to learn our specialty through outstanding fellowship training programs, hosting annual fellows meetings on careers in clinical ID and research, providing a large number of travel grants to IDWeek each year, and funding research grants for young investigators. 

I also support the IDSA Education and Research Foundation, the charitable, non-profit foundation of IDSA, and I hope you also will consider supporting this generously this coming year when you renew your membership. The Foundation focuses on career development of medical students, fellows, and young faculty, promoting important research, and disseminating knowledge about infectious disease and public health. Infectious Diseases has been a wonderful specialty for me and my career, and IDSA has been a major part of that.

I urge you to lend your voice, expertise, and time. Volunteer on committees that will further the cause of ID. Join advocacy efforts that support federal funding for medical research and public health. Pay it forward through IDSA's mentorship programs. Donate to the IDSA Education and Research Foundation and its pledge to promote research and develop careers of young people, so vital to attracting people to our specialty. Take the time today to renew your IDSA membership and encourage your colleagues, particularly those just beginning their career in ID, to join.

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