Belonging to an Organization: Professional Advancement & Personal Gains
by Nazish Hashmi, MD
Our realities changed during the pandemic and many people asked a very important question, possibly for the first time in their lives: what brings me joy and fulfilment? Is my choice of career a good fit for me? Outside of medicine, it is this feeling of being unfulfilled that has led to what is being dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’. Amongst physicians, the lack of connectedness and satisfaction with one’s specialty has led to high rates of burnout. Pre-pandemic literature on burnout suggested that engaged physicians tend to have less burnout. Engagement outside of clinical work can be driven by continued learning, faculty development and mentorship, having a social network and many more things. For me, engagement included interacting with my trainees, seeking ways to improve my clinical practice and finding mentorship from other physicians in my area of interest. This is where the role of belonging to a professional organization became very important.
As a trainee, we are all encouraged to join our professional societies and I did the same. The importance of my membership did not become clear to me till I was a junior attending. Initially, professional meetings were a venue to showcase the research projects I participated in. However, I realized that professional organizations such as the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA) do more than just highlight my current projects.
One of the biggest personal gains I experienced from being a part of an organization was mentorship and faculty development. Subgroups and committees within the organization provided me the opportunity to network with those in my field of interest. As an example, I joined the Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesia (WICTA) special interest group within the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesia (SCA). I participated in their inaugural Professional Development Mentoring Program, where I was paired with an amazing anesthesiologist with experience in congenital heart disease, Dr. Johanna Schwarzenberger from UCLA. The group conducted webinars on presentation skills, storytelling and communication, statistics, and manuscript writing. All these skills are essential to the growth of a junior faculty member in academic medicine. The culmination of this program was a presentation by the participating ‘class’ on their topic of interest using the various presentation skills taught during the seminar series. This was judged by senior faculty from all over the country and we all received meaningful feedback. The exercise helped me develop contacts, find a mentor, and improved my presentation and communication skills.
Being part of professional organizations such as SOCCA and SCA has been fulfilling in many other ways. I have learned to network within committees and at national meetings. As a newly minted program director for a medium sized critical care fellowship, this has allowed me to learn the ropes from my more experienced colleagues as well as be a part of the conversation about educating our future anesthesiologist intensivists. The continued learning and innovation at meetings keep me updated with evolving practice patterns nationally and internationally. Lastly, it is always a joy to meet alumni and colleagues in an informal setting at national meetings.
Each of us finds meaning in their personal and professional lives in a variety of ways. I have experienced the many ways that being part of professional societies has prevented me from being burnt out by a heavy clinical load, even at the peak of the pandemic. The best balance of clinical work and professional engagement is personal and individualized. When the balance is right, it fuels one’s passion and can help sustain their career through the highs and lows of clinical medicine.
Nazish Hashmi, MD
Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Program Director, Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
Durham, North Carolina
ASA Monitor recently published “SOCCA: A Growing Community of Intensivists Embracing the Challenges of Modern Critical Care” by SOCCA members Shahla Siddiqui, MBBS, MS, FCCM and Ashish K. Khanna, MD, MS, FCCP, FCCM, FASA. Read the full article here.
2023 SOCCA Annual Meeting
SOCCA Reception at 2023 SCCM Critical Care Congress in San Francisco
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PT
Location: Hilton Union Square (333 O’Farrell Street)
Room: Franciscan A
When: February 2, 2023 | 6:00 PM ET
Where: Register online
Description: Join us for our first Early Career Intensivist Group Meet and Greet of the year on February 2 at 6pm ET. We will have SOCCA board member Dr. Ashish Khanna joining us for a lively discussion about navigating through life as an Early Career Intensivist. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) / Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) / Cardio Thoracic ICU (CTICU) Workgroup
Members who have a special interest in MCS are invited to join this workgroup. Our first meeting will be January 19, 2023, at 5PM CST. Please register in advance: SOCCA CTICU/ECMO Meetup Link.
This year, SOCCA is seeking committee volunteers for our communication, education, membership, and research committees—as well as the new clinical practice committee. To view committee descriptions and submit an application, visit https://socca.org/get-involved/.
You may submit an application for a SOCCA Committee between November 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
Learn more & review SOCCA’s Volunteer Selection Criteria.
This election cycle, SOCCA will be electing three members for the Board of Directors (3-year term). Further details about the governance structure of SOCCA are described in SOCCA’s Society Bylaws.
SOCCA members interested in serving in an elected positions on the SOCCA Board of Directors should submit a letter of interest, photograph, and curriculum vitae to Vivian Abalama, IOM, CAE ([email protected]) with subject line “2023 SOCCA Board of Directors Election.”
Review criteria by which Board of Directors and volunteer leaders are evaluated: Volunteer Selection Criteria.
You can apply via email only for a Board of Directors position between November 1, 2022 and December 5, 2022.
SOCCA Innovators Award: applications open 9/30/2022 – 12/31/2022.
Gender Equality in Critical Care
Major professional societies & organizations have the obligation to initiate & sustain strategies that support & enhance gender equality in critical care. WICC invites members of SOCCA to participate & discuss ways to advance these goals & values. Understanding & recognizing gender diversity challenges & carrying on the momentum gathered in recent years within SOCCA and outside it, will enable a positive environment for more women to enter & remain within ACCM.
SOCCA has a calendar/list of events. Visit it regularly & save essential dates.
The SOCCA Speakers Bureau has officially launched! As a SOCCA member, you may now:
Have you made any changes in 2022? It’s time to update your SOCCA demographic profile and / or renew your membership. Keep your SOCCA experience seamless & don’t miss out on any updates & member benefits. Visit: buff.ly/3sPMG6j
SOCCA would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our female intensivists during this month and year-round. Throughout September, four of our members will be sharing their experiences as a woman in critical care.
Read: Burnout: No Easy Answers in a Post-Pandemic World, by Sarah Alber, MD
Read: Belonging to an Organization: Professional Advancement & Personal Gains, by Nazish Hashmi, MD
Read: Mentors and Mentees: A Powerful Connection, by May Hua, MD, MS
Read: Women in Critical Care: Where We Are & Where We Want to Be, by Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM
Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM, and Co-Chair of SOCCA’s Women in Critical Care recently edited a special issue of Journal of Critical Care featuring women as first and senior authors. Read Dr. Siddiqui’s introduction in Volume 71 | October 2022 issue.
The SOCCA Early Career Intensivists working group provides new members and members who are early in their careers with the resources needed to ease the transition from trainee to practicing intensivist. Learn more.
Have you read “SOCCA, the Pandemic, and the Future” by SOCCA’s Miguel Cobas, MD, FCCM, in this month’s ASA Monitor? Visit: https://socca.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Cobas_SOCCA.pdf
As a SOCCA member, you are eligible to receive a discount on an IARS membership. IARS membership benefits include a subscription to Anesthesia & Analgesia, SOCCA’s official journal, A&A Practice e-journal, free journal CME, access to a member community and discounted registration to the IARS Annual Meeting. Click here to view a list of membership options.
Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship Programs
Have you visited SOCCA’s Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship Programs page? If you would like your organization’s program added to our site, let us know here: https://socca.org/new-socca-fellowship-listing/.