Growth is a tricky business. I am very excited about watching my new grandchildren grow up; I am not so thrilled about approaching an age range that starts with a number higher than 5. It is with similar mixed emotion that I have watched CanSAGE grow over the past 4 years. From the comments and evaluations we receive, it has been a great success. Yet, if we don't continue to grow and provide resources for our members, we won't likely last long. And like most growth, that requires input not only of the time and expertise of the society members, but some financial resources as well.
To date, we have been working with the revenue we receive from conference fees and industry sponsorship. This has allowed us to organize and present an excellent scientific and clinical program at our Annual Conference in an atmosphere of collegiality and fun that has been very successful. There is more that needs to be done if we are going to become the opinion leaders for Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Canada. We want to offer more to our members, which necessitates us implementing a membership fee for the Society. To date, membership was included as part of registration for the Annual Conference. The Board now feels it is time to ask its members to provide their fees outside of that annual meeting.
I hope you will share my feeling that it is time to proceed with developing membership fees and benefits for CanSAGE members, including the development and launch of a new CanSAGE educational video library, changes to features available on the website and listserv, and ongoing educational resources throughout the year. If you have attended our Conference or have heard about how great it is, I hope you are willing to help support the ongoing activities beyond just an annual event. It is much like the chicken and egg problem, in that it is difficult to take on new projects without a source of funding outside the meeting; it is difficult to ask for membership fees without offering something more to members. We want to grow and expand what we are able to offer our members in terms of regional courses, educational resources, mentorships and of course continuing to offer our outstanding Annual Conference.
As a young society, we continue to grow, and like any professional society, we will only be as good as our membership makes us. I want all members to feel they have something to offer, be it their time, their expertise, their knowledge, their ideas and their experience. It is an exciting year, with new developments and with the election of new Board members in the fall. I invite you all to play a part in the ongoing success of CanSAGE.
John Thiel, MD, FRCSC – President Canadian Society for the Advancement of Gynecologic Excellence – CanSAGE