The Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Special Interest Group: What Can the Lessons of One Anesthesiology Affinity Group Tell Us about How to Build Impactful Professional Communities?

Emily Methangkool*, Abimbola Faloye, Lavinia Kolarczyk, Seema Deshpande, Kiran Belani, Agnieszka Trzcinka, Choy R. Lewis, Rebecca Mutesi Balimunkwe, Daryl Oakes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Women In Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology (WICTA), a special interest group of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, has been highly successful in mobilizing WICTA, a historically underrepresented and marginalized group in the subspecialty, and in supporting real and meaningful change in the professional community. The experience of WICTA as a professional affinity group in impacting a professional organization to diversify, evolve, and become more responsive to a wider professional audience has important lessons for other professional organizations. This article discusses the recent history of affinity organizations in anesthesiology, the benefits they offer professional organizations, and the strategies that have been used to effectively motivate change in professional communities. These strategies include engaging a strong advisory board, identifying the need of constituents, creating additional opportunities for networking and membership, addressing gaps in professional development, and aligning goals with those of the larger national organization. WICTA is just one example of the potential opportunities that affinity groups offer to professional societies and organizations for expanding their reach, enhancing their impact on physicians in their target audience, and achieving organizational missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-771
Number of pages9
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume137
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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