By Angela Wang, Staff Physician, Scripps Clinic, Chair & President, California Thoracic Society
Networking is about making connections, not just about schmoozing or being crudely ambitious. It’s about meeting people who are passionate about pulmonary medicine and patient care. CTS is made up of dynamic individuals who believe that joining a professional society is not just something to be listed on a CV, but provides a means of improving lung health in California. It’s about meeting people who can help you grow professionally and personally. Online social networking is not a substitute for human contact. CTS provides an easy, non-threatening way to enlarge your circle of professional connections from peers to mentors.
Want to get more involved with ATS or ACCP but don’t know how to get started? CTS can assist you with that as well. Most of the leadership is also active ATS and/or ACCP members who can help you get established in these larger organizations. CTS also sends two chapter representatives to the ATS Council of Chapter Representatives which is involved in ATS governance.
Our annual Carmel conference brings in respiratory care professionals from all over the state and features outstanding local and out of state speakers. For instance, Richard Wunderwink (Northwestern University) gave a brilliant talk on Severe Community Acquired Pneumonia that stimulated a lively discussion on anti- biotic use and also featured data that was in the process of being published. We recently started a collaboration with the California Cystic Fibrosis Consortium. This year also saw our first Nursing/ RCP/RN workshop.
Steve Jobs understood the importance of making connections and how they could foster camaraderie and creativity. When he was at Pixar, he insisted that there be only two bathrooms in the entire studio. It was hugely inconvenient, but it forced mingling. You need to see and hear what fellow professionals think is important — even if you disagree. Through CTS, you can meet regional and national experts. CTS-sponsored receptions and conferences are great places to pick up informal information as well. The meet- ings are smaller and much more conducive to meaningful conversations. Take a look at the photo gallery from our recent Carmel Conference and you’ll see what I mean.
Diversity is another strength of CTS. Our members encompass the entire range of respiratory care professionals from physicians to nurses to respiratory care practitioners, to therapists. We hail from all corners of California. We practice in a variety of settings from academia to solo practice. CTS provides a unique venue to learn about opportunities you may not have even known existed!
Although we are the largest chapter of ATS, we are not so large as to be overwhelming or to be hamstrung by politics. We also work with a GREAT management team who helps us get things done. In CTS, you CAN make a difference. It’s easy to join a committee. Check out our website. See a topic or committee (Education? Pediatrics?) that you are interested in? Have a hankering to get involved with politics? Want to help out with the website? Just email us or any of the committee chairs We are always accessible.