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Letter from the Editor

Lori Jackson Norris, FASPRBy Lori Jackson Norris, FASPR, Associate Editor, JASPR, lori.norris@chw.edu

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called ‘Opportunity’ and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

–Edith Lovejoy Pierce, poet

A New Year…and a new opportunity for a fresh start! This is my first “From the Editor” column for 2012…well, ever! I feel honored. Little did I know when I joined the Journal committee about two years ago, that I would be stepping into this position. Although I’ve been an ASPR member for well over 15 years, until recently I left the work it takes to build and run an organization like ASPR to others. The “others” in this case have been mostly long-time, charter ASPR members who have been towing the line for all of us for a long time. I’ve watched them take ASPR from a small group of close-knit physician recruiters in the ‘90s to the highly recognized international organization of more than 1,100 physician recruitment professionals that it is today.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist

I imagine I’m like the majority of ASPR members: thinking I was too busy with my professional and personal life to even consider getting involved with committee participation or leadership…thinking that I should leave that to more seasoned veterans. My involvement in the past was limited to attending the annual conferences, if I was fortunate enough to have my employer’s support, and networking with colleagues while recruiting “on the road” at medical conferences. In between, I would stay connected by reading JASPR. I always looked forward to receiving my copy in the mail. I recognized the names of colleagues in the bylines and mentioned in the articles. I admired them for getting involved and for their skills that went above and beyond physician recruitment. I wondered how in the world they could find the time because I knew they were just as busy as me, if not more so.

“If you want the job done well, give it to a busy person”

—Henry Ford, auto maker

The colleagues who were interviewed in the articles were doing things, big and small, that made a difference to our profession. Small things like sharing a story about a funny encounter they had with a physician candidate or a good book they thought their colleagues could benefit from… to more substantial undertakings such as working on committees that were organizing the annual ASPR conferences, developing industry benchmarks, creating the Fellowship certification program, and growing our membership. And the members who were writing the articles used their free time and skills to write about these colleagues and the exciting things they were doing. Many times, the ones who were writing were also the ones who were busy building ASPR. All contributions, big and small, have benefited our organization. I personally would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have worked so hard and continue to work on our behalf. Now, it’s time for members like me to “step up” and give someone else a well-deserved break.

If you are thinking about getting more involved in ASPR, you can take it little by little or jump right in. I started first on the local level with Southwest Physician Recruiters Association/SWPRA as a member and then a committee member. A year or so later, after being a fan of JASPR for so many years, I decided to put my journalism degree back to work and joined the ASPR Journal committee. Last August, I was asked to become co-chair and join the ASPR leadership team.

Keep in mind, involvement on any level is good and appreciated. You can choose “big or small” involvement. Just choose to get involved…whether it be committee work for JASPR (my personal favorite), Education/Conference Planning, Benchmarking, Fellowship, Marketing/Membership, and/or Regional/Chapter Relations. The continued success of ASPR depends on all of us.

“I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

– Lily Tomlin, comedian

Speaking on behalf of the Journal committee, we need new volunteers now more than ever. With communication moving at lightning speed, the need for fresh input and ideas is crucial to keeping JASPR relevant and maintaining its reputation for keeping members informed, educated and connected.

As of this issue, JASPR is just a click away, as it becomes solely an online publication. Although it’s tough for some of us to bid farewell to the “hard copy,” several things will be gained. For one, we as an organization will be “greener by saving trees.” Second, the span from writing to publishing online will be much shorter, making the material timelier. Additionally, the organization will save substantial printing and postage costs that will be available for other projects to benefit ASPR members. For some of us, including co-chair Judy Brown and me, this is bittersweet progress. We both will miss receiving our printed and bound copy in the mail—the delivery that has tangibly signified all of the hours of hard work done by many. At the same time, we look forward to the benefits that will come from this change. We also look forward to any feedback from you, our colleagues. Please don’t hesitate to let Judy and me know what you think about this and future issues of JASPR. Your feedback is important. Email us at judy.brown@childrensmn.org or lori.norris@chw.edu.

“When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others”

—Chinese proverb

If you are interested in participating with JASPR, you can commit as much or as little time as you wish. One hour per month is all that is required to attend the teleconference meeting where you will be encouraged to provide feedback and present your thoughts and ideas for future issues. Or you can invest more time by becoming a contributing writer. If you have an interest in writing but don’t think you have the editing skills, we can help with that. This is a great opportunity to get published. A published article is a good addition to your professional development file for your next performance review or future job portfolio. Writing and interviewing are also great ways to network. I have met so many wonderful ASPR members this way. And volunteering your time is a great way to pay it forward by sharing the knowledge and experience you have gained on your professional journey.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” —T.S. Eliot, poet

Happy New Year! Here’s to working together in 2012!

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Journal of ASPR - Winter 2012

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