Raising Awareness of ASCO International

Sep 03, 2015

By Doug Pyle, International Affairs Senior Director

Each July for the past several years, ASCO has sent a survey to a random sample of its members outside the United States, asking several basic questions about their satisfaction with their ASCO membership and soliciting their suggestions about how ASCO can better serve them. Since we started this survey, the results have been remarkably consistent – mostly for the better, but with one particular area for improvement.

There are a number of very positive and interesting findings. For example, we ask why the member originally decided to join ASCO. While one might think it would be to take advantage of member products and discounts, a consistent 70% or so of respondents say they joined so they can join a community of colleagues. About 70% to 90% of respondents indicate that their membership directly impacts how they care for their patients, and overall satisfaction with ASCO membership is regularly in the high 90%.

While this is nice to see, the real purpose of the survey is to identify areas for improvement. For example, a consistent 20% to 25% of respondents indicate that they do not know that ASCO has activities outside the United States. This is somewhat surprising, as over the past few years, ASCO has not only greatly expanded its international programs through ASCO International (including international courses and symposia, research grants, leadership and mentoring programs) but has also expanded its communications about these activities. This has included the launch of this newsletter, numerous articles in all of ASCO’s publications, sessions at the Annual Meeting, and other channels.

Why is this 20% significant? The last question of our annual survey is an open-ended one, asking for suggestions for what new activities ASCO could do internationally. While we get many good ideas, often the suggestions are for programs or member benefits that ASCO already offers. This represents a missed opportunity for that member (and likely others) to take full advantage of their ASCO membership.

As ASCO works to raise awareness among the membership of the many programs that ASCO offers, we would also like to ask for your help in sharing this information with your colleagues, and for your suggestions about how we can better spread the word. Thank you in advance, and thank you for being a member of ASCO.


Edmund W. Tai, MD

Sep, 08 2015 9:31 PM

I think coducting a course in a country outside of the largest cities /capitals  sends a message that ASCO cares about cancer care delivery to the common person and the rank and file oncologists who often do not have access to the latest therapy and has limited contact to the outside world.  Sometimes this speak volumes about our intention to elevate the quality of care and a tangible effort on ASCO's part to have real impact.  Often a visit by ASCO faculty has impact far beyond the course itself and boost the local physicians' morale and to stimulate them to explore options to improve care.  The upcoming MCMC couirse in Luoyang China has attracted attention on the national level in China and is the biggest thing that has happened there for some time. The local hosts are very enthusiastic and appreciate our efforts.


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