Professional Societies: The Cost of Belonging

November 16th, 2011

What does it cost to belong to professional societies?

I think it is important to belong to one’s professional societies for numerous reasons: ongoing education, networking, leadership roles, and the opportunity to have a voice in how our profession is regulated.  Collective voices (and collective pocket books) are louder than individual voices (and individual pocketbooks).

What will it cost my pocketbook, though, to join all the societies I wish to join?  Let’s see:

  • AGA = Application Fee $40; Annual Dues $395
  • ACG = Application Fee $195 (1st yr dues); Annual Dues $325
  • ASGE = Initiation Fee $100; Annual Dues $350
  • CCFA = Participating Physician $300
  • ACP = Annual Dues < 8 years post training $285
  • AMA= Annual Reg Membership, 1st year in practice $210

Whipping out my calculator, I get a bottom line of $1965.  OUCH.

(I think my application fees for ACG & AGA are waived since I was a member in fellowship.  At least one of the GI societies has a 1st year in practice discount also, I just can’t remember which one).

This is on top of my boards (pray I passed), $2165

Hmm, I think some of those are going to have to wait.

I know there are very good reasons why membership fees exist.  These organizations do a lot for our profession.  The cost of publishing the journals alone must be huge.  However,  I know MY budget and income, and for now I’ll have to pick and choose what professional societies are the most important to me this year.

Maybe next year I can add more letters to the C.V. . . .


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    About Me

    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters