JFCAC Past Chair, Ravi Gada, MD | JFCAC Vice Chair, Meadow Good, DO | JFCAC Chair, Luke Newton, MD
A message from the Junior Fellow Congress Advisory Council (JFCAC) Chair, Luke A. Newton, MD
For most of my OB/GYN residency, I had no idea that I was an ACOG “Junior Fellow;” I had no idea what a Junior Fellow was. I thought that ACOG had 3 jobs:
1) sending me the Green Journal (which I tried to read monthly),
2) sending me the compendium yearly (which I read cover to cover) and
3) sending my program director the CREOG exam (which I took religiously)
I often argue that I was not the exception; I was the rule.
Only in the last several years have I come to appreciate how great an organization we have representing us. I have had the privilege to watch ACOG’s spectacular leaders represent our specialty in the rapidly changing world of healthcare reform, fight for our patient’s access to fair and equal medical care, and serve as a premier medical educational organization; and this is only the beginning of the story.
My greatest passion is for ACOG Junior Fellows to realize much sooner than I did what great influence that ACOG has in all of woman’s health care. I want to highlight some of the things I have learned since discovering “What ACOG does for me” (and you)!
Here are a few questions you may be asking yourself:
What is a Junior Fellow? A Junior Fellow is an Ob-Gyn resident in an approved program (US & Canada) or a recent graduate of a program. Junior Fellow membership is also available to residents in Mexico and Latin American Sections (Central America, Argentina, Chile and Dominican Republic) and the West Indies. All active Junior Fellows in Training/Residency are automatically rolled into the Junior Fellow in Practice category upon completion of their training program. Currently there are 9,962 Junior Fellow members; 5,466 Junior Fellows in Training and 4,496 Junior Fellows in Practice. ACOG total membership is 56,470, and represents 95% of all board certified obstetricians-gynecologists.
How is ACOG divided up? What is a district or a section? Which one am I in? ACOG is composed of 10 geographic districts and the Armed Forces District which are broken down into 89 sections. Click here for a map of ACOG’s Districts and Sections.
Where does the compendium and other educational materials originate? ACOG has several committees which are responsible for creation of these documents. These committees are made up OB/GYNs from all across the country, and all committees have representation from Junior Fellows or Young Physicians. Committees are a great example of ways that ACOG members including JF’s can stay involved though-out their career. Click here for application for membership to committees. In addition, ACOG offers a host of educational opportunities for Fellows, Junior Fellows and Medical Students, including an Annual Clinical Meeting (ACM) and Annual District Meetings (ADMs).
What and who is the JFCAC? The JFCAC is a national council made up of elected Junior Fellow Chairs and Vice Chairs from all eleven districts. The JFCAC meet 3 times a year and work on issues that are important to all Junior Fellows, such as resident education, leadership training, and community service.
What does ACOG do to represent our specialty and our patients in areas of policy and legislation? ACOG's Department of Government Affairs influences federal and state legislation and regulations, and federal elections, to improve women's health, the practice environment for obstetrician- gynecologists, and the future of our specialty. ACOG leadership and committees are regularly briefed on pending legislation and advised on policy positions. The Department develops and conducts programs to educate, inform, and empower the Fellowship about federal and state legislative and regulatory issues, and federal elections.
Junior fellows are highly encouraged to attend ACOG’s Congressional Leadership Conference, a three-day course, held every Spring in Washington, DC. Top-level speakers and in-depth sessions prepare Fellows and Junior Fellows from across the Nation to meet with their Senators and Representatives on ACOG’s top federal legislative priorities.
Additionally, ACOG's federal political action committee, Ob-GynPAC helps elect and support Members of Congress who champion our issues. It is the only national PAC in Washington, D.C. representing ob-gyns before Congress.
How can I keep up with ACOG latest news and information? ACOG has a very active communication department. You can follow ACOG on Facebook and Twitter http://www.facebook.com/#!/ACOGNational. Additionally, the ACOG site has a wide range of resources, including a section specifically for Junior Fellows http://www.acog.org/.
What does ACOG do for my future career goals? The networking opportunities in ACOG are amazing. ACOG also offers Career Connection where you can search for jobs as you approach graduation. It also offers coding classes so that we can learn how to bill appropriately.
I hope that this rapid tour of ACOG’s resources helps you understand what an amazing organization we are a part of. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org any questions.
Luke N. Newton, MD