ASCO Connections

ASCO Connections

Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MPH

@AneesChagpar
Jul 03, 2011
I’ve often pondered the name of this site . . . “connections” seems to be a buzz word in this era of social networking and electronic media. ASCO has “ASCO Connection”, Yale’s Cancer Center has an e-Newsletter called “Direct Connect,” and our Breast Center’s newsletter is called “Breast Center Connect” . . . truthfully, all of these allow us to share information and viewpoints, and serve as a forum to hold us together. But as I reflect back on the last month, with the ASCO annual meeting and all of the events subsequent to that, I realize that ASCO is entirely about connections.

ASCO is a professional organization that promotes connections between basic scientists and clinical trialists, between specialists across disciplines, between clinicians and researchers with interests in different cancer disease sites . . . one need only look at the content of the annual meeting to appreciate the rich tapestry of diversity that is interweaved throughout the program.

More than this, ASCO is one of the few organizations that goes out of its way to promote connections between individuals of all ages and ranks. Whether it’s the opportunity for fellows to network with the giants in the field in the fellows lounge, the requirement for strong mentorship for Conquer Cancer Foundation Awards, or the close relationships that participants of the Leadership Development Program establish with the highest ranks of ASCO leadership and staff, ASCO has defined itself as an organization interested in promoting the careers of its young.

Further, ASCO promotes connections across geographic boundaries. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as a host for an International Development and Education Award recipient. It was Dr. Anand Mishra’s first trip to the US; and for this breast surgical oncologist from Lucknow, India, it was spectacular not only to experience his first ASCO meeting, but further to come to Yale thereafter, and establish what will hopefully be long-lasting collaborations. With more than half of its members located outside the US, ASCO has truly been at the forefront of building global connections.

A few weeks later came yet another ASCO connection, as I served as ASCO’s representative to the AMA’s Young Physicians’ Section. ASCO is committed to furthering its members’ interests through networking and advocacy, and having a seat at the table at the AMA ensures that our members’ voices are heard. After that, I was honored to represent ASCO at the Medical Specialty Showcase helping to entice bright young minds to all areas of oncology. Particularly in an era of impending physician shortages, the opportunity to build connections and foster enthusiasm early on with medical students is critical to ensuring the continued growth and success of our specialty.

But the best part of ASCO, in my humble opinion, is the opportunity to re-connect—with friends, family and colleagues whom we may not get to see every day. While the number of receptions and “meetings within the meeting” can sometimes seem overwhelming, I always love meeting all of you at ASCO . . . So, now it’s your turn: tell us about your favorite ASCO connections. Has ASCO helped you to connect to people that you may not have known before? Or developed collaborations that you wouldn’t have formed independently? We’re now a society of over 30,000 members, so the connections you could make are nearly infinite . . . and you could start to connect with us by responding!

Disclaimer: 

The ideas and opinions expressed on the ASCO Connection Blogs do not necessarily reflect those of ASCO. None of the information posted on ASCOconnection.org is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services. The mention of any product, service, company, therapy or physician practice on ASCOconnection.org does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by ASCO. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in, posted on, or linked to this site, or any errors or omissions.

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