Jun 22, 2011
A cohort of new members collectively represents ASCO’s diverse membership
In 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology was born from the shared passion and dedication of seven founding members, with 51 oncologists attending the first Annual Meetingthat year.
How far the Society has come: in 2011, ASCO officially became 30,000 oncology professionals strong.
Representing individuals from every pathway of oncology enables the Society to offer its members extraordinary opportunities for networking and collaboration, and lends credibility to ASCO’s advocacy for policies and legislation that affect every aspect of cancer care and research and every member of the health care team.
“Growing big is not the purpose of ASCO. The purpose of ASCO is to help its members so we can deliver better cancer care to our patients. But growing in size helps our influence; it increases our stature in the world of medicine. It makes people take notice of us in ways that they might nototherwise,” said Allen S. Lichter,MD, ASCO CEO. “The value that our members find is in the services we offer, the educational offerings that we deliver, the Journal of Clinical Oncology (the leading journal in all of clinical oncology), and the advocacy positions that we take. They also want to be part of this global community, to join together to advance the cancer cause.”
ASCO is an incredibly diverse organization, with members practicing in all disease sites, specialties, and settings, plus thousands of members practicing in countries outside the United States. From the cohort of new members inducted in April, six new members were selected from among the oncology disciplines to celebrate the Society’s 30,000 members at the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting. While it would be impossible to capture in a single group the full spectrum of the Society, the newest members and their variety of specialties represent the spiritof inclusion and diversity embracedby ASCO.
Below, in their own words, thoserepresenting ASCO’s 30,000th member group discuss their journey to membership.
Jean Archambault, MD
Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHUQ)New member specializing in radiation oncology
“When I joined, I already knew about ASCO—I had heard of it during training. I have access to the Journal of Clinical Oncology and we know that it’s an excellent journal, very useful during training and throughout your career as it presents important clinical trials results. I had never been to the ASCO Annual Meeting and I planned to go this year. I had just started my career and I decided to become a member in time to attend the Meeting.”
Jason Canner, DO
Advocate HopeChildren’s HospitalNew memberspecializing inpediatric oncology
“This has been a good year for me in terms of getting more involved in clinical research. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to show you’re going to be dedicated to a clinical research cause. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some interesting clinical studies; the one I’m working on now is a retrospective study looking at adolescent and young adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia. I felt like it was time to become more associated with some of the pediatric cooperative groups and organizations and to really expand my network. Knowing that ASCO is the clinical oncology organization—not just the largest, but also an international organization—I knew that it was the appropriate time to get involved and to be a part of the biggest and best society within oncology.”
Geri-Lynn Fromm, MD
TexasOncologyNew member specializing in surgical and gynecologic oncology
“I went to my first ASCO Annual Meeting 15 years ago, and I’ve come to realize that the best things worth reading anymore about the management of gynecologic cancers come out of the Annual Meeting. I decided that the best way to stay onthe cutting edge was to get on the inside track and becomea member.”
Sheryl G. A. Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA, FACS
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence and AVON Comprehensive Breast Center at GradyNew member specializing in surgical oncology and breast cancer
“I have been attending the Annual Meeting more frequently over the past six years, and ASCO has been very good at accepting the scientific work (as poster or oral presentations) from medical students, fellows, and junior attendings that I have collaborated with and mentored. Our work focuses on the disparities of breast cancer care and this has been an important topic at ASCO.More recently my research interests have expanded to include health economics and examining high-quality cost-effective treatment strategies for patients with breast cancer. The Health Policy section of the daily Cancer in the News emails that ASCO sends out is a superb way to stay on the forefront of health policy issues. Receiving these daily briefings is an added benefit that I only realized after I joined.”
Kesha R. Harris-Henderson, MD
Texas OncologyNew memberspecializingin radiationoncology
“I have been familiar with ASCO since I started my practice. I have valued and attended many of the ASCO programs. As we have an evolving health care discussion in our country, I think it’s important for me to support organizations that are going to continue to promote excellent delivery of oncology care for our patients. These items were the spark that ignited my consideration for membership in ASCO. I’m very pleased to be able to highlight, as a radiation oncologist, the need to bridge with ASCO to strengthen our specialty and offer the best oncologic care for patients in the future.”
Yu-Hwa Peter Sheng, MD
Cincinnati Veteran Affairs HospitalNew memberspecializing in medical oncology
“For many years, I had a fairly busy solo practice, and it was difficult for me to get away to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting, even though I knew ASCO offered great educational opportunities. Three years ago, I made a career change—I’m in a more academic setting part-time, teaching and getting some research going, while keeping my office practice open for second opinions and palliative care in oncology (including nutrition, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal therapy). I need updated information in order to teach fellows and residents and a network of fellow researchers, and ASCO offered a tremendous opportunity to expand my knowledge and connections.”
—by Virginia Anderson, Senior Writer/Editor