By Membership Committee Chair Tessa Cigler, MD, MPH
At the recent Membership Committee meeting at ASCO headquarters, we discussed the value ASCO provides its members and areas where benefits may be enhanced.
The meeting highlighted the results of recent focus-group and phone-survey research on member benefits, which identified enhanced networking opportunities, both online and offline, as a priority for our members. Meeting attendees would like to engage in pre-meeting networking as a way to prepare for the onsite, in-person networking that they find so valuable. As with other forms of social media, the pre-meeting networking would ideally foster connections that link both professional and self-selected personal information.
ASCO staff participated in the discussion and gave informative presentations on ASCO’s current activities in the social networking arena and ways to further promote existing tools. Ideas proposed include exploring opportunities to collect and consolidate member information in ways that enhance searchable online profiles and that connect member profiles with attendee registration and the Oncology Career Center.
The Committee also discussed ASCO’s Cancer Portals—a comprehensive information center on cancer subtypes—as a valuable resource for physicians to discover the latest findings in cancer research through scientific abstracts, videos, links, and other materials.
The Committee responded favorably to the expansion of networking tools and centralized information portals. We agreed that increasing awareness about these useful benefits could help ASCO members connect with one another to engage in meaningful dialogues to further our shared mission. We hope the information discussed will further enhance the value and benefit of ASCO membership, and we hope that you will use this networking site to share your ideas with us as well. We look forward to your comments.
Tessa Cigler, MD, MPH, is a medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist at Weill Cornell Breast Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. An ASCO member since 2006, she also serves on the patient and Survivor Care track of the Scientific Program Committee.