During the last decade, our organization has seen a lot of changes. In 2011, our name changed from the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and our membership expanded to include everyone on the gynecologic cancer care team. The first-ever open election was held for the President and Board members in 2013. Change is good, but it is not always easy. Today in 2018, I invite you to join me in embracing change that is essential to moving our organization forward.
For the last six months your Board, Committee and Task Force Chairs and members, and the SGO staff have worked incredibly hard to lay the foundation for a major change in our membership structure. Current categories of full, candidate, associate and international members will be combined into the new Full Membership which is open to all licensed physicians (no board certification required) and PhD scientists who are committed to eradicating gynecologic cancer in their daily work, no matter what country they live in. Fellows, residents and medical students are combined into one new Trainee category. The new Associate Membership will welcome advanced practice providers, non-MD allied health professionals, and patient advocates from around the world.
The proposed membership changes are good, but not easy since making these changes means amending the SGO Bylaws. Going from nine categories to four, having a streamlined application process, and creating a welcoming environment for colleagues and advocacy partners across the globe requires the approval of two-thirds of voting members with no less than 15 percent of voting-eligible members casting votes. You can learn more about the membership restructuring by watching this webinar.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Embrace change. Please check your email for the original notification sent from firstname.lastname@example.org on Oct. 20, look for upcoming reminders and vote in favor of the Bylaws changes that will transform SGO into a more global and inclusive society.
Carol L. Brown, MD