MEMBERSHIP IN DECLINE: A GENERATIONAL DIVIDE
With more than half of the WSDA membership comprised of baby boomers aged 50 or older, it is more important than ever that we reach out to younger dentists to explain the benefits, both tangible and intangible, of organized dentistry. On initial review, we see that dentistry is thriving in Washington state, with one of the best dentist-to-population ratios in the nation, and yet in recent years we’ve seen our membership drop from 80 percent of all licensed dentists in the state to 70 percent. As might be expected, the numbers fall largely along a generational divide — older dentists tend to stay in the fold, newer members have not yet grown to value membership. It’s our job to light the way — to demonstrate the real value membership can have, no matter where someone is in their career path. As the baby boomers begin to retire en masse, we can expect our membership numbers to continue to decline. By being proactive, creating opportunities and value for new dentists, transplants to the state, and even former members to actively participate in organized dentistry and join the WSDA, we hope to turn the trend around.
Our most powerful tool: our members
In the fight to keep and grow our membership, you — the members of the WSDA — remain our most powerful tool. We rely on you to champion the cause of organized dentistry and the WSDA to potential members. We make it easy for you to recruit, with unbelieveable benefits to both the recruiter and the new recruit, including free passes to the PNDC, complimentary component society dinners, and $100 cash from the ADA (for complete information, visit here).
But we weren’t content to stop there. To that end, we created the Task Force on Membership — a group responsible for developing a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan. The Task Force is chaired by Dr. Ted Baer from Pierce County Dental Society and includes Ms. Sandra Anderson, Seattle-King County Dental Society’s Director of Membership Services, Dr. Sabrina Habib, Seattle-King County Dental Society, Dr. Jeffery Henneberg, Spokane District Dental Society, Dr. Randall H. Ogata, Seattle-King County Dental Society, Dr. Daniel Tremblay, Currently in Yakima Residency Program, and Dr. Michael Warner, Clark County Dental Society.
Additionally, we created a recruitment contest called the 12th Man Challenge, and are pleased to announce that since the start of the campaign 14 new members have been recruited. Dr. Mike Buehler of Yakima leads the way with the most new members recruited. For more information click here. Deadline for recruitment submissions is October 17, 2013.
Continuing to evolve
But we’re not making you do all the heavy lifting — we’ve created a fantastic return on membership investment with assets like political advocacy, the PNDC, The Source, The WSDA News, endorsed company savings, and many others. This year we held our first-ever Job Fair, where members with an employment opportunity in their practice were brought together with members looking for associateships and other practice opportunities. Of the more than 80 participants, 96 percent said it was a valuable member benefit, and an equal number said they would recommend the event to a colleague, calling it “A wonderful way to meet potential candidates.” We’re continuing to evolve to meet your needs proactively. For information about the next Job Fair or any membership recruitment program, please contact Laura Rohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-448-3368.
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