This article was written several years ago by one of our founding members, Bill Collier. Although the article may be a few years old, the message is still valid today. We have updated and added to it.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN GATEWAY BIOMEDICAL SOCIETY?
That's a question that has been raised at both of our first two meetings of the newly-formed GBS, and it's a valid question. The annual individual membership fee has been established at $20.00. Why should an individual spend twenty dollars to join such an organization? Each person’s personal and professional situation is unique, so no one answer covers all the bases, but I'd like to outline some of the ideas I have on The subject. This fee has not increased since GBS was formed in 1990.
First, most Biomedical Engineering Technicians and Clinical Engineers, whether in a hands-on or a management role, consider themselves professionals. This field is their profession of choice. If you are in that category, then I suggest that GBS has something for you. Please consider the following:
1. Professional Skills Advancement
GBS hopes to garner interest from our vendors in providing training and technical sessions. We also have discussed setting up our own training programs using GBS members as trainers. Clearly, improved skills make you more valuable to your current employer and more marketable if you're planning a move.
In plain language, getting to know your colleges. This can have different connotations: Perhaps you're a manager looking for prospective new staff members, or a BMET looking for another position. What better format exists to meet would-be employers or employees than a biomedical society? Another angle to consider is the building of a pool of resources; that is, persons who may have a different perspective on projects or problems common to your facility. By meeting and speaking with fellow biomedical professionals, you may discover a low-cost source for parts you need, or a way to save time during tests of specific equipment types, or any number of
3. Visibility with Vendors
When a number of staff members from various institutions form a society, it's sure to get the attention of the vendors. GBS is planning on having a symposium in within a few years that will be supported by vendors with many educational opportunities.
As suggested by Robert Steinman at one of our meetings, every get-together need not be all business. We have had our Annual Holiday Get Together and Pool Tournament since 2008 and plan to continue these events at our members requests. In the past we held a annual golf tournament and we are looking at doing this again in the future.
5. Advancing the field of Biomedical\Clinical Engineering
I'd like to think that our society can make an impact locally with regard to raising the perception of Biomedical Engineering as a profession, and can help to foster increased interest in the field among both existing and prospective BMET’S. By joining, you immediately assist by increasing our membership base. You can make a further impact by getting involved as an officer, a trainer, or a board or committee member, or simply by contributing time to help with various GBS projects. (If you are a seasoned, senior-level biomedical professional, this is an opportunity to share some of your knowledge with less-experienced persons.) Time is a commodity most of us don’t have enough of, but with group participation, GBS is an effort that can benefit the St. Louis area Biomedical community both individually and collectively.