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convincing more of our colleagues that our work and the business of WCMS and our state and national organi- zations is a relevant cylinder in the engine that powers our profession.
There is no magic fix here. But the term that comes to mind is “value proposition.” We as a county medical society need to offer a strong value proposition to non-members. You may be familiar with this business term, but for those who are not, the term value proposition refers to the marketing that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. It proposes to a potential consumer why a particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings. From an organized medicine standpoint, it proposes to colleagues contemplating membership the value that organized medicine offers to them, it explains why belonging matters, why belonging is relevant, and the benefits that we can achieve for ourselves, our patients, and the community by uniting for common causes in a professional organization.
The old value proposition, when WCMS and MSMS served the needs of individual practitioners, is outmoded. The new value proposition is to support physicians as a group and the public both in our community and across
the state with regard to their health needs and benefits, many of which are threatened. We, and they, need a voice in getting health care coverage, promoting important health care needs and public health measures (firearm regulation, auto insurance coverage and helmet laws come to mind), combating skepticism about vaccination, advising and bringing about change in the opioid crisis, and epidemic and pandemic information and preparedness (the current outbreak of Hepatitis A comes to mind). We need a much stronger voice in Lansing, which can only come about if physicians are a large enough and strong enough group to get legislators attention. Our Legislative Committee does a good job of this with local elected officials; MSMS works at the state level. This is one reason why membership in WCMS and MSMS are combined.
Maintaining the status quo today is not a strategy for being here tomorrow. Changing our trajectory on the success curve is a long process, but we should begin; small steps taken today to further define and develop our value proposition and make it known will begin to pay dividends in the future.
Become Stronger Ambassadors to our Students and Trainees: WCMS members interact with medical students and house officers on a frequent basis.
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Volume 69 • Number 4 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 7

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