Why do you belong to AANP? The answer to that question differs depending on whom you ask. Some people especially value the resources that AANP provides to help them develop successful practices
; some value the continuing education opportunities
; and others view AANP’s public policy efforts
to bolster the profession of naturopathic medicine as the most important reason for membership. There are myriad other important and worthwhile reasons people join their professional association.
My observation, though, is that the people who are most passionate about AANP are the ones who use their membership to connect with their colleagues, to renew relationships, and to form new friendships and professional connections.
As in any family gathering, there is no need to explain who you are and what you stand for. Everybody already knows!
The best way to form these bonds and to create the emotional connections that truly matter in life is to make sure you’re there when your friends gather. In the AANP world, there are two important places where friends gather.
The first is May 12 – 14, 2013, at the DC FLI
. DC FLI veterans along with new graduate and student members from around the country will converge on Washington, D.C., to advocate for the profession they love. FLI first-timers not only will learn the ins and outs of making visits to U.S. senators’ and representatives’ offices, they will quickly learn that their colleagues around the country are equally passionate about securing the future of the profession. This year attendees will advocate for the creation of a Naturopathic Medicine Week.
The largest gathering place is the AANP annual conference, this year held in Keystone, Colorado, July 10 – 13
. As in any family gathering, there’s no need to explain who you are and what you stand for. Everybody already knows! While attendees are extremely diverse, the feelings they describe in coming to the conference are not. The words we hear most often are family reunion and connection. The gesture we see most often is, well, obviously the hugs!
Make no mistake. Participants will come away from the conference with clinical pearls, with new insights about how to treat their patients more effectively, with new ideas for marketing their practices, and with all kinds of valuable new information. But it’s the feeling of community and the reminder that they are part of a greater movement that participants remember most.
Your patients feel a sense of renewal when you help them address their most pressing health problems. Where does your
sense of renewal come from? There is no better place than the DC FLI and the AANP annual conference to reconnect with your fellow NDs, to reaffirm your commitment to naturopathic medicine, and to reenergize your spirit.
I strongly encourage you to attend one – and preferably both! – of these enriching events.