“Our online education has a global untapped market” he says. “We need to reach out to international medical professionals and to domestic training programs in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physician assistant, and get our rheumatology courses into students’ hands. … If students are taking them, they might start thinking about this as a career and help grow the specialty.”
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Explore This IssueMarch 2018
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He also sees opportunity to grow the ARHP’s membership, particularly given how many health professionals there are in North America who could benefit from being part of the multiprofessional organization. “Membership is at 1,200, but it should be four times that size because there are many more health professionals out there.”
The ARHP offers a plethora of volunteer and professional development opportunities for members, along with networking, awards, governance and more. And Mr. Haag explains, the organization is poised to do more. The ARHP has been looking hard at collaborations and reciprocity with other rheumatology groups. “We are learning that one association membership can’t create everything for everybody, so we’ve reached out to sister rheumatology societies and domestic disciplines.”
When Mr. Haag interviewed for his role at the ARHP 17 years ago, he was a bit surprised because he lacked a medical background. But he’s grateful for all he has been able to help accomplish since. “We’ve achieved a great deal in my 17 years,” he says. “But the next 17 years are going to be even better.”
Kelly April Tyrrell writes about health, science and health policy. She lives in Madison, Wis.