Members have their say

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 5, June 2012, Pages 224-225 President's Comment

In my last president’s column to you before Dr Shelley Ross begins her term, I am pleased to say I’ll be leaving on a high note. In the centre of this month’s journal are the results from the 2012 Ipsos Reid Member Survey, undertaken in February. A total of 1759 members responded and overall the results show members continue to support the direction the BCMA is moving, and that you are very satisfied with the services you receive. 

It’s important that your association remain relevant, useful, and influential to and on behalf of its members. And the key way to know whether or not we’re succeeding is to ask, and continue to ask periodically. We will continue to send invitations to each member for participation in surveys as important as this. 

Because this is the third biennial membership survey, we also compare results with surveys undertaken in 2008 and 2010. On questions that really matter, in areas such as your overall impressions of the BCMA and perceived value for membership, year-over-year results are included. 

I am pleased to report that according to the survey results, the BCMA continues to be very valuable to members, receiving high marks in levels of satisfaction, trust, ability to keep you informed of BCMA activities, and in levels of satisfaction for value for dues paid. As per other years, the BCMA is posting the complete results of the survey including open ended responses so members can see all of the results.

The great advantage of member surveys is they offer meaningful two-way communication. They help us understand your point of view, clarify priorities, and provide quantifiable measures of success. They also highlight areas that need improving and emphasize the effectiveness of programs implemented to address these troublesome areas. Often issues are complex and require more than one solution, or time for the solution to take effect. However, regular surveys will keep us informed and determine effectiveness.

I hope you take the time to review the findings yourself when you have a moment, but I would like to highlight a few areas.

The introductory section looked at the overall impression members have of the BCMA. The results in this area have improved by 5 percentage points from the 2010 survey (which had improved by 5 percentage points from the 2008 survey) to an 81% favorable impression. This figure includes elements such as how well the Association negotiates and advocates on your behalf, the level of benefits and services it provides, and how well it keeps you informed. 

We also asked if you thought the BCMA was moving in the right direction. Again, the number of favorable impressions increased over the 2010 survey, as they had from the 2008 survey, in such areas as advocating on your behalf, communicating with and listening to members, and negotiating on members’ behalf. However, the survey also showed we still have work to do with regard to equally representing all members, unifying the membership, and addressing disparity and other fee issues.

Value for fees paid
With regard to the rate of return for dues paid, 75% felt membership provided good value. This figure has again risen from the previous survey. Up overall by 4 percentage points from the 2010 survey, members primarily value the benefits packages (up 5 percentage points), insurance packages (up 2 percentage points), representation to government (up 2 percentage points), negotiations (up 1 percentage point), and Club MD (up 2 percentage points). We’re very glad these numbers are increasing as we continually look for other ways to increase value of membership.

Physician-specific programs
Programs such as those offered through the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) and the Specialist Ser­vices Committee (SSC) are gaining mo­mentum. The number of GPs aware of GPSC programs (89%) rose 9 percentage points from 2010 and the degree of satisfaction GPs received from using the programs (85%) in­creased by 5 percentage points from 2010, which had increased by 14 percentage points from 2008. The number of specialists aware of SSC programs (68%) saw a huge increase of 19 percentage points over the 2010 survey. 

The Association is pleased with these results, but also looks at them with a critical eye to see where there was little improvement or none at all and where our efforts could best be targeted as we strive to continue im­proving your overall satisfaction with your association. We know where our work ahead lies and look forward to the survey results in 2 years’ time, as the BCMA will continue to conduct and make available the results of these surveys for all members. 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in this survey and provide your thoughts. Ultimately this is your association, and it works best on your behalf when you let us know how we are doing.
—Nasir Jetha, MD

Nasir Jetha, MD,. Members have their say. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 5, June, 2012, Page(s) 224-225 - President's Comment.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply