It is hard to believe the fall season is upon us and we are already calling for volunteers for 2018 ASGE committee service. The society is highly dependent on its committees to guide lobbying efforts, education, practice guidelines and other offerings to members and patients, and we hope you will consider offering your time and expertise to ASGE.
An email was sent last week by our President-elect, Dr. Steve Edmundowicz, with a link to an online application inviting you to tell us about yourself and which committees you would like to serve. Having spent many hours appointing committee members last year, I want to offer some advice to those who are moved to serve and would like to shed some light on the selection process.
ASGE has 20 committees dedicated to education, improving patient care, practice management and reimbursement/lobbying efforts. We are fortunate each year to have more volunteers wanting to be involved in the committee structure than we have positions available; unfortunately, that means that not everyone who applies will be selected. Nevertheless, persistence often pays off, so if you have applied previously and have not been selected, please reapply.
Most committees meet face to face, once or twice yearly, with conference calls as needed between meetings. The time commitment outside direct meetings and calls varies by committee, and may include authorship of society documents or educational publications for members and patients. Committee terms are typically for up to three years, and most committees have approximately 10 to 15 members, with one-third of the members rotating off annually.
The Annual Scientific Program Committee is an exception. It consists of 15 subgroups [ERCP, EUS, Clinical Practice, Clinical Practice (Quality Measures and Improvement), Lower GI, Upper GI (Small Bowel Imaging), Upper GI (Non-enteroscopy), Esophagus, New Technology, and Bariatrics] of four to six members each that review abstracts for inclusion at DDW. (Explain your expertise in the additional comments section of the application form to allow your placement into the proper subject area. The chair and sub-chair of each subgroup attend the DDW planning committee. The remainder of the committee’s work is done remotely. In your final year of service, you will become chair of your subject subgroup.
Each year, the President-elect is charged with filling the committee openings, and while there is individual latitude, we carefully consider the importance of diversity in the process. This year, the process is simplified into an online application, and includes an option to declare information about your gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It is not possible for the President-elect to have personal knowledge of most applicants, so support for your application from a superior or an ASGE member already active in service is extremely helpful for us to understand you and your potential, but is not required to be considered for appointment.
While the selection process is not a secret, it is not well understood by the members at large. I hope this helps and allows you to have a better understanding of what committee service entails, and that you will feel more confident about your decision to apply for future service. Please feel free to contact me or James Janssen, ASGE Governance Manager, if you have further questions about the process or where you might best serve.
One parting thought: As important as our work is, for some of you the topmost concern may be the safety of your families and homes. As I noted in my last blog post, the hearts and thoughts of ASGE leadership are with all of our members who are suffering as a result of recent hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes. As an organization, we have contributed to disaster relief efforts. For those who are back to work after enduring one of these events, we encourage you to check this web page for important and helpful information:
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria Disaster Relief.