ASCO Wants to Hear from Its International Members

ASCO Wants to Hear from Its International Members

Michael Paul Link, MD, FASCO

Nov 21, 2011

Today, one-third of ASCO’s 30,000 members practice outside of the United States. Totaling more than 9,000 clinicians who collectively practice in more than 100 countries, ASCO’s international members represent extraordinary diversity of needs, challenges, and interests. Each and every one of these members is important to ASCO, and each and every one has a perspective on what they would like their Society to do to advance the practice of oncology.

In order to better understand the needs and interests of its international members, ASCO has started conducting a short annual survey asking about the members’ satisfaction with their membership, their awareness of ASCO’s international programs, and their suggestions for how ASCO could better support them. The survey is distributed to a random sample of 500 ASCO members who reside outside the United States.

The goal is to create another channel for us to serve our international members. Nearly every day I talk with ASCO members, and these conversations are always incredibly valuable. At the same time, there is also a need for a broad perspective, which this survey hopefully provides. The same survey will be administered by ASCO over the next several years so that the Society is able to detect any trends in satisfaction or member needs, and respond accordingly.

One hundred twenty-five members completed the 2011 survey, for a response rate of 25% (an uncommonly high response rate). Some of the findings were:

  • Surprisingly, nearly 70% cited the opportunity to join an international community of colleagues as the most important factor in their decision to become an ASCO member, far more so than to get member benefits (13%) or to achieve professional distinction (20%)
  • More than 75% of respondents indicated that their membership helps to shape how they treat their patients
  • More than 95% of respondents were satisfied with their ASCO membership

As valuable were the 55 responses to the request at the end of the survey for suggestions. Common suggestions were for ASCO to continue to offer more programs targeted to the needs of oncologists in developing countries, and to look at opportunities to involve more international members in the governance of ASCO. Some suggested a reduced cost membership for clinicians in developing countries, which ASCO already offers through its International Corresponding membership category.

We will look forward to continuing to administer this survey in the years ahead and to hear your insights and suggestions. If you participated in the survey, please accept our gratitude and know that your ideas and feedback are being listened to.

However, you do not need to wait for a survey to have your voice heard. Please feel free to send us an email to express how satisfied you are with your ASCO membership and your suggestions for improvement.

Please send emails to


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