Apart from simple demographic information we asked 3 questions: 1) Why did you join OPPA? 2) What do you value most about membership? 3)What could OPPA do to add more value to your membership? Members were welcome to give multiple answers to each question. We hope the information from the survey will give the OPPA Executive Committee and other OPPA committees more guidance in developing future OPPA activities and initiatives. In general, we learned that over 50% of members joined in order to part of a psychiatric organization (APA, OPPA, APPL) and 50% joined because of opportunities to network with peers. 25% joined because of educational opportunities (CME, journals) and 10% joined due to the organizations advocacy work (legislative activities, public service).
Members find value in membership in many ways. 55% of respondents identified networking with peers as and important value, while 39% cited educational activities, 23% noted advocacy and only 4% indicated organizational membership as a value of membership in OPPA. Suggestions to increase value of membership were varied and focused most on improving networking options (including bringing back the printed OPPA roster for members), enhancing the OPPA newsletter, building mentorship opportunities, and delivering educational materiel across several platforms, and in different areas of the state.
The committee is breaking down the responses based on the phase of the respondent’s career. We will be looking at the following groups to see if we can identify unique values of membership for each demographic group: 1) psychiatric residents and fellows, 2) early-career psychiatrists (1-7 yrs. post training, 3) mid-career psychiatrists (8-15 yrs. post training), 4) peak-career psychiatrists (16-25 years post training), 5) senior psychiatrists (25+ years post training), and 6) retired psychiatrists. Our committee has started working on activities for “members in training”. At the end of June, we hosted a lunch during the orientation for all new psychiatry interns at OHSU and helped all of them to become APA/OPPA members. This October we will sponsor our 2nd annual Resident/ OPPA “mixer” as an opportunity for residents from both the OHSU and Good Samaritan (Corvallis) training programs to meet off the hill (at the Mind Matters P.C. office) to give the trainees a chance to meet OPPA members in practice and talk about psychiatric practice after residency regarding many different specialties and types of psychiatric practice. This evening was very successful last year and hope for it to become a highlight of each resident’s engagement with the OPPA.
Our committee would now like to identify specific activities that would be a special interest and value to early career psychiatrists (ECPs). Unfortunately, we now do not have any ECPs on our committee, as the 2 ECPs previously on our committee, needed to resign due to family and practice commitments. For ECPs, this challenge of finding time for OPPA committee work, while balancing it with a new career, possibly new family, new home, and new community can be overwhelming. Any early career psychiatrist (and any other OPPA member as well) who might be interested in becoming more active in building more member value in the OPPA, please consider joining the OPPA Membership committee. We are a fun and committed group of mainly senior psychiatrist. We will have Skype video conference capability for those that cannot travel to our meeting site (Beaverton/ Hillsboro area). For those that could come to a meeting in person, free dinner is provided (and not paid for by OPPA dues).
We welcome all suggestions and particularly hope some of you will join our committee. Contact Dave Conant-Norville MD (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 503-352-0468 for more information. Alternative contact is our committee staff person, Jennifer Boverman (email@example.com).
Dave Conant-Norville MD
Chair, OPPA Membership Committee