Feb 18, 2022
By Eric Hamp, ASCO Member Services, and Katherine H. Crawford, MA, PMP, ASCO Communications
In 2022, ASCO is providing more opportunities for its members to earn points toward a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) designation, with a goal of having more members shape the trajectory of the organization and contribute their expertise to advance high-quality, equitable cancer care for patients everywhere.
“Research shows that greater diversity leads to better outcomes for everyone—whether it’s in making scientific advances or driving high-quality patient care,” said ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO. “We have the same aim with our update to our FASCO points structure: we hope to engage more members with ASCO and benefit the entire oncology community, oncologic science and research, and patient care.”1,2
ASCO created the FASCO distinction in 2006 to honor those members who had provided extraordinary volunteer service and dedication to the Society, as well as to encourage members to become more involved in volunteer activities. Since then, the designation has become the premier honorific for the oncology community.
“From fellowship through my 30-year involvement in community oncology, I have been an active ASCO volunteer and participant in a variety of ASCO events,” said Tracey Weisberg, MD, FASCO, a member of ASCO’s Board of Directors. “It was an honor to learn that this commitment to the organization was acknowledged with my designation of FASCO 2 years ago. It represented a long relationship with our Society that I plan to continue to nurture further in the years to come.”
The main purpose for updating the FASCO program is to recognize and support members who engage with ASCO in a variety of ways while maintaining the prestige of the designation. Until now, all FASCO point-earning activities were volunteer positions. ASCO is thankful for the leadership of thousands of current and former volunteers; however, there are finite opportunities to serve in a formal volunteer capacity. By allowing more flexibility and individual control over participation, ASCO and its Board of Directors intend to meaningfully thank engaged members, which reflects the Society’s commitment to meet the needs of a modern and busy oncology professional. In particular, the Society is eager to expand the participation and recognition of young professionals (those under 40), women, individuals from populations underrepresented in the U.S. medical workforce, and members outside the United States. This will help diversify the FASCO cohort to better reflect ASCO membership, as well as boost the pipeline of professionals who may become eligible for a FASCO honor later in their careers.
ASCO recognizes that it can be challenging to deeply engage with a professional society, whether due to time constraints, family obligations, lack of mentorship, or living far from a large network of oncologists, and wants to help its members navigate these complexities and develop their careers while participating in activities that support both the individual and the oncology community.
As part of the enhanced FASCO program, ASCO will recognize members at two milestones along the way to the full designation:
- ASCO Ally: 25 points
- ASCO Ambassador: 50 points
- Fellow of ASCO: 100 points
These milestone levels are intended to recognize members on their engagement journey and reflect an understanding that engaging with one’s professional society is a career-long endeavor.
Earning FASCO Points
The new FASCO point structure and point-generating activities went into place in January 2022; members can earn points through volunteer service and through specific engagement activities. Volunteer points will continue to be granted at the end of the volunteer term or at the end of each 12-month period (i.e., three times for a 3-year term). Members will earn points for the new engagement activities starting in January 2022; points for these activities will be granted in June 2022. In the future, a transcript with a description of point-earning activities that have been completed will be available.
- President, chair, or member of the Boards of Directors of ASCO, Conquer Cancer, and CancerLinQ: 15 points
- Leader (chair, editor-in-chief, or similar) of committee, subcommittee, editorial board, steering group, or task force: 10 points
- Participant (member, editor, or similar) in committee, subcommittee, editorial board, steering group, or task force: 5 points
- Leader, member, mentor, or participant in Volunteer Corps activities: 3 points
- Register to attend an ASCO meeting or symposia (in-person or virtual): 2 points*
- Nominate someone for ASCO and Conquer Cancer grants and awards, or receive a grant or award: 2 points*
- Contribute a post to ASCO myConnection community forum: 1 point*
- Donate to Conquer Cancer: 1 point*
- Vote in ASCO election: 1 point*
*Annual maximum points for engagement activities.
Earning Points Through Engagement
FASCO points can be earned through five specific engagement activities, with a limit on points that can per earned per year for each activity.
Attend an ASCO Meeting
Attending ASCO meetings is an important way to stay up to date with the practice of and latest research in the field of oncology. Members can now earn a maximum of two FASCO points per year when they attend an ASCO meeting, which includes the ASCO Annual Meeting, ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, ASCO Quality Care Symposium, ASCO Breakthrough, ASCO-hosted Best of ASCO, ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, and the ASCO Quality Training Program. View the schedule of upcoming meetings.
Receive or Nominate a Colleague for a Grant or Award
ASCO Special Awards and Conquer Cancer Grants & Awards recipients represent the best in the field of oncology and their contributions are essential to achieve ASCO’s vision of a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. Members can receive a maximum of two FASCO points per year when they receive a grant or award, or when they nominate a colleague for an ASCO Special Award. Review Conquer Cancer grants and awards opportunities and ASCO Special Award opportunities.
Contribute to ASCO myConnection Community Forum
ASCO myConnection is an important resource that allows members to network, host discussions, and collaborate with colleagues around the world, fostering the sense of community that ASCO membership is all about. Members will receive a maximum of one FASCO point per year for starting a discussion thread, replying to a discussion thread, or sharing a library resource with peers. Begin networking with the ASCO community.
Donate to Conquer Cancer
Donations to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, allow ASCO to achieve its mission to conquer cancer through research, education, and promotion of the highest quality, equitable patient care. Funding raised by Conquer Cancer helps support innovative clinical research and educational programs that impact researchers, oncologists, and their patients. Members can earn a maximum of one FASCO point per year for making a donation of any amount to Conquer Cancer. Learn more and donate.
Vote in an ASCO Election
When members vote in the annual ASCO election, they help to shape the future of the organization as well as cancer care and research globally. Every year, typically beginning in November, members have an opportunity to make their voices heard and move the organization closer to achieving its mission, vision, and goals. Members can earn a maximum of one FASCO point per year by submitting their ballot. Learn more.
With the expansion of its FASCO program, ASCO welcomes the increased engagement and formally acknowledges the contributions of a diverse group of members from around the globe and at all stages of their respective careers.
- Dixon-Fyle S, Dolan K, Hunt V, et al. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Co. Accessed Jan 10, 2022.
- Jilani Z. How Diversity Improves Science and Technology. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Nov 17, 2021. Accessed Jan 10, 2022.