October 2019

Lee Wood, DO
Baylor College of Medicine, Dept of Emergency Medicine
Vice-chair - EMRA Wilderness Medicine Committee
TCEP Board of Directors

Getting Involved is as Easy as Showing Up

One of the most frequent questions I am asked about any of my leadership positions is, “How did you get involved?”. Whether you are a new intern ready to take off the training wheels, an upper-level resident ready to take on new challenges, or a seasoned doc looking to make your mark on organized medicine, often getting involved is as easy as showing up and being willing to help out. There are ample opportunities at the local, state, and national levels to contribute as much time as you are willing and able. Here are a few ideas.

Often the best place to look first is your own organization. Most residency programs have several committees, from Program Evaluation Committees to Social Media Committees. There are also various leadership positions you may not know about. Each residency program should have a representative to TCEP, a representative to EMRA, and more. Ask your program leadership what opportunities are available at your institution.

Join TCEP! Once again, opportunities abound if you are willing to offer your time and talents. TCEP has several committees that could use your help. A great first step would be to participate in the TCEP Leadership and Advocacy Fellowship program (TLAF). This program is designed to mold future leaders in EM at the state and national levels and provides outstanding mentoring along with the leadership and advocacy skills that will prepare you for future leadership opportunities. Many current TCEP leaders are prior TLAF fellows. Check out the TCEP website for information about TLAF, committees, and future meetings you can attend to get your feet wet.

For Residents, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) is a great place to start. Want to get published? Write an article for EM Resident magazine. Want to work with others who share your interests? Join one of the numerous EMRA committees. Ready for a leadership position? Run for a committee vice-chair or chair position or put your hat in the ring for a position on the Board of Directors. If you’ve already finished residency, or if EMRA just isn’t your jam, ACEP, SAEM, and CORD offer many similar opportunities.

These are just a few ideas about how to get involved, and there are far more opportunities out there than I’ve mentioned here. If you are passionate about something, find an organization or committee that piques your interest and send an email to someone in leadership. You’d be surprised how far you can get with a cold contact. Often the hardest step is the first, so take that first step today, and welcome to organized medicine!