You’ve been receiving correspondence and electronic reminders about renewing your annual membership in ASE. I hope you will renew, and encourage your colleagues to join. ASE is working on all fronts for our profession, promoting excellence in the practice of echocardiography through education, research, and advocacy, and providing service to its members and the public.
Our diverse and talented membership includes not only cardiologists and sonographers, but anesthesiologists, vascular specialists, internists, surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, scientists, nurses, geriatricians, veterinarians, radiologists, and others. The strengths of our scientific community were evident at our second Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technology and Research Summit, which brought together ASE members who are echocardiographers, ultrasound engineers and physicists. At a meeting with leadership from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), we discussed future areas of cardiovascular research and the technologic developments necessary to achieve them. Discussion included myocardial deformation, 4D, research infrastructure, valvular heart disease, and therapeutic ultrasound. Although we all face challenges from healthcare reform and pressures of day to day practice, exciting ideas were generated that could truly improve the way we care for patients. The proceedings will be presented in a future issue of JASE .
ASE is partnering with other groups that share similar interests. I have recently returned from the Ultrasound First Forum, sponsored by American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Held in New York City, the event brought health care professionals who use ultrasound in clinical practice together with representatives of a variety of other interested groups. There were health policy makers, insurers, patient advocacy groups, industry representatives, and representatives of national interest groups such as the Veterans’ Administration and Food and Drug Administration. We heard from specialists in radiology, gynecology, sports medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. I spoke about echo and its advantages compared to other cardiovascular imaging tests. The common theme was the many, many circumstances in which ultrasound should be the imaging test of first choice.
I was interested to learn about the many applications in which ultrasound has been demonstrated to be superior to other forms of advanced testing, and, of course, safer and less expensive. This collaborative forum reminded me how much we have in common with many diverse groups in our desire to offer the best and safest care to our patients. We have work to do to get our message out to policy makers, insurers and patients. Emergency department and critical care physicians are very interested in expanding their skills in ultrasound, including cardiac ultrasound; some have already completed advanced training and the National Board of Echocardiography examination. Informally, we discussed educational products and guidelines that might be developed by a collaboration of ASE members and other groups. Perhaps there will be ASE membership benefits we can offer to other groups in the future.
Exactly what does your membership bring you? Membership includes a monthly subscription to JASE , ASE’s journal, which brings you the very latest clinical, scientific, legal and economic information regarding the use of cardiac ultrasound. JASE is now available on your iPad so you can read it anywhere. Membership gives you access to targeted education, with many free CME/CEU opportunities, including articles in JASE that offer CME, assorted recorded talks, self-paced interactive courses, and Webinars, all found on www.ASEUniversity.com . In addition to the recorded talks on ASEUniversity, ASE has partnered with prolibraries.com , 123 Sonography, and Heartworks UK to bring you additional, online education opportunities. These new partnerships allow you participate in interactive, case-based or didactic courses without leaving your home or office. Members also receive discounts on ASE and ASE co-sponsored live courses and ASE educational products, developed to enhance your practice and provide access to important trends and innovations.
ASE membership also provides opportunities for you to communicate with your colleagues, interpret the latest trends in practice management, and enhance your standing in the profession. Are you moving to a new location or interested in learning more about a potential employer? Search by area in our interactive member directory, Connect@ASE , and make some professional contacts. Are you studying for boards and wishing for an online study group, or working with a local society and wanting to have a pre-meeting online? Do you simply have a question about your practice or methods? Try Connect@ASE ; 8,768 members are using it!
Whether you want to access the latest news on health reform, learn about what a new legislative ruling means to you, or better understand the latest Medicare physician or hospital outpatient fee schedule, ASE has you covered. All this information is located in our new practice management area online. With all the changes in healthcare, this members-only resource is a must-have for clinicians in healthcare today.
Only members of ASE are eligible to be Fellows of the ASE (FASE) and receive recognition for their exceptional work and leadership in the field of cardiovascular ultrasound. By achieving this prestigious credential, you will be listed online in a searchable directory and be eligible to serve in Society leadership positions.
Your dues support does much more than provide discounts and information; it helps fund our mission to support excellence in cardiovascular ultrasound and highlight the value of the exceptional patient care our members provide. A portion of your membership dues dollar allows ASE to sustain the field with education, advocacy, research, innovation, and service. With over 15,000 members, ASE has the strength in numbers needed to have impact in numerous coalitions; to participate in the AMA RUC, the body that proposes changes to reimbursement codes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and to garner the attention and support of numerous patient advocate organizations, industry, insurers and government partners when it is needed. This last year ASE spoke out about the importance of our members and echocardiography to the FDA, NIH, CMS, AMA, ACC, ESC, ABIM, AIUM, NBE, ARDMS, CCI, United Healthcare, and IAC, among others. Let our voice represent yours!
I just finished reading Delivering Happiness , Tony Hsieh’s colorful story of how he developed the shoe sales enterprise, Zappo’s, with a small group of friends. His remarkable success involved good instincts and some serendipity. However, the book offers practical lessons about commitment to a goal, the value of passion and enthusiasm, and the tremendous importance of customer service to the success of a business. Few individuals will successfully found a company, and this number is probably fewer still among those of us in the practice of medicine, which is such a consuming profession. However, membership in ASE provides us with the opportunity to create something equally exciting and potentially transformational. Mission trips to various corners of the world are being planned. Presently, a task force is even developing educational curriculum for training of sonographers in countries where there are none. Using modest resources, but the heart and talent of our ASE members, the possibilities of what we can do together are amazing.
Spread the word; as an ASE member you are in a unique position to help ASE grow. More members will allow ASE to serve you and your profession even better, with increased advocacy and public awareness initiatives, and national and international outreach projects to bring cardiovascular ultrasound to underserved areas. Enlist your colleagues and ask them to join ASE. Regardless of whether you just joined or have been a member for years, our membership program brings you valuable resources, helps you grow in your chosen field, and increases your professional satisfaction.