Robyn Dennis, MD, and Nicholas Burwick, MD
Dr. Dennis is Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Burwick is Hematology/Oncology Fellow, University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The ASH annual meeting brings together trainees from around the world and provides them with endless opportunities for networking, developing new research ideas, and honing their clinical skills. Trainees leave the annual meeting inspired and motivated, but commonly ask, “How can I remain an active trainee member of ASH outside of the annual meeting?” Whether you are a medical student, resident, or fellow, there are a number of opportunities throughout the year for you to stay involved as an ASH Associate member. Below are ways for trainees to remain active members of the ASH community during the course of their training. The more you stay involved, the richer your experience as a hematology trainee will be.
#1: Make connections and keep them: Trainees are savvy social networkers, and it is helpful to use these skills to keep in touch with colleagues you meet at the ASH annual meeting. The value of your connections may not be immediately evident, but your colleagues, even if separated by distance, may one day be a valuable resource or mentor to you.
#2: Be an advocate: You do not need prior legislative experience to be an advocate for hematology. For example, trainees can become members of the ASH Grassroots Network, where they can stay up-to-date on the latest advocacy campaigns. It is also an opportunity to meet like-minded fellows or faculty, and you may even find yourself on Capitol Hill together.
#3: Write an article for TraineE-News and/or The Hematologist: The ASH Trainee Council publishes a quarterly electronic newsletter called TraineE-News, which is a major source of communication from ASH to its trainees. The Hematologist also publishes articles directed toward early-career hematologists. If you would like to submit an article suggestion, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
#4: Be a mentor: Share your enthusiasm and knowledge of hematology with junior trainees such as residents, medical students, or graduate students. Junior trainees may have limited exposure to hematology during their training and are often looking for guidance from senior trainees. Encourage them to help with case reviews or abstract write-ups. Mentorship is a rewarding experience for both the mentor and the mentee, and it can happen at any stage of training.
#5: Recruit new members: Recruiting new trainee members to join ASH improves the diversity of the trainee membership. Consider preparing a brief synopsis of your experience as an ASH trainee, and be ready to share it with your colleagues. If you have enjoyed being a member of ASH, chances are they will, too!
#6: Regularly check the ASH trainee page on the ASH website: The ASH Trainee Council maintains a resource-packed page on the ASH website (www.hematology.org/Training) to help guide trainees at every stage in their career. The website provides career-development timelines, grant opportunities, job postings, case presentations, and more.
#7: Apply for ASH awards and workshops: ASH provides several career-enhancement awards focused on helping hematologists establish and advance their work early in their careers. ASH also provides formal research training programs for trainees involved with clinical or translational research. Trainee members should be well versed in the opportunities ASH provides and take advantage of them! Refer to the following page on the ASH website for more information: www.hematology.org/Awards.
#8: Volunteer for committees: Senior hematologists know that serving as volunteers for ASH extends beyond the annual meeting with working groups, conference calls, and committee updates going on throughout the year. Junior faculty are welcome to nominate themselves or their colleagues for standing committee roles. Those trainees who have particular research experience may be good candidates to serve as abstract reviewers and subsequently as members on scientific committees. For more information about volunteering, go to www.hematology.org/About-ASH/2654.aspx.
#9: Propose new trainee projects: If you don’t see a project of interest but you have a good idea for ways to get trainees involved, send the Trainee Council your ideas. We hope to encourage all members to become involved in some way with ASH, and if this happens, we will have built our own hematology trainee network!
#10: Join the ASH Trainee Council: The ASH Trainee Council is a committee of fellows across the field of hematology that is focused on providing opportunities and resources for the advancement of trainee education through ASH. As a member of the ASH Trainee Council, you will have the opportunity to interact directly with the ASH executive leadership to promote new initiatives for trainees. Six new council members are selected each year, for a two-year term, with 12 members in total. More information about the Trainee Council, including the application and details about the application process, are available on the ASH website at www.hematology.org/Training/Trainees/2675.aspx.
For more information, visit the ASH website at www.hematology.orgor contact the Trainee Council at email@example.com.
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