In a world where some information is good, more information is better and information overload is a way of life, Carole Dodge, BS, OTR, CHT—a practicing occupational therapist at the University of Michigan—considers the ARHP her professional block and tackle. “ARHP helps me sift through a lot of information and get it to a digestible point,” says Ms. Dodge of ARHP’s ability to provide her with tools, resources content and connections directly applicable to her role.
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Explore This IssueOctober 2017
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With more than 37 years as a practicing OT, Ms. Dodge always knew rheumatology was a good fit for her skill set. And in this time, she has seen many changes in rheumatology and healthcare as a whole. From biologics hitting the market to the increased focused on collaborative medicine, Ms. Dodge has looked to the ARHP to keep up with the changes that affect her patients and her profession.
“Our current healthcare environment moves quickly, and constant change, improvements and information are inevitable. ARHP seems to stay one step ahead of the questions I’m going to get each day in my clinics and is able to get just the right amount of information in my hands to better prepare me for patient questions, collaborating with colleagues and understanding the challenges facing the rheumatology community,” she explains.
Advocacy, Education & Networking
One area that greatly affects Ms. Dodge’s patients and profession is advocacy. “This isn’t something we learn about in school,” she says. “The information from—and decisions made on—Capitol Hill have a direct effect on my patients, career and practice, and it would be nearly impossible to keep up without ARHP doing the heavy lifting and putting the most important and applicable information in front of me so I can be an impactful advocate on behalf of rheumatology.”
Another area in which Ms. Dodge turns to the ARHP is education, and the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting is a great way for her to stay on top of the best in rheumatology science and practice. “I’ve attended the Annual Meeting for years, and ARHP consistently provides education that I can apply to my daily practice,” she says. As the largest gathering of rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals in the U.S. each year, the Annual Meeting is a place for researchers and clinicians to share breakthroughs from the bench to bedside while increasing their professional networks.
To that end, Ms. Dodge is quick to note that the ARHP is a consistent reminder that “people are resources.”
“My involvement in ARHP has introduced me to people who hold the qualities I look for in professionals and in friends,” she explains. “They are experts in their field, a wealth of information, always willing to collaborate, and they encourage me to give back to ARHP and the rheumatology community as a whole.”
As the largest gathering of rheumatologists & rheumatology health professionals in the U.S. each year, the Annual Meeting is a place for researchers & clinicians to share breakthroughs from the bench to bedside while increasing their professional networks.
As Ms. Dodge became more involved in the ARHP in the 1990s, she was identified for opportunities to impact the mission of the organization as a volunteer. She began volunteering for the organization and sees her involvement as an opportunity to gain different skills than she would typically gain as a practicing clinician. “Just learning how to run meetings and make them productive is a valuable experience as an ARHP volunteer,” she explains of the experience. “But, you also get a better look at the diverse rheumatology healthcare team and gain a better understanding of how we all contribute to the care of people with rheumatic diseases.” This is particularly important to Ms. Dodge as she works with a broad range of healthcare professionals—from rheumatologists to pulmonologists, cardiologists and plastic surgeons—while managing the university’s three hand clinics and working as a part of its scleroderma program.
As a busy clinician, a mentor and an ARHP volunteer, it would be very easy for Ms. Dodge to suffer from email fatigue and information overload, and it would be even easier to miss out on networking and relationship building while sifting through all that information. For Ms. Dodge, the ARHP consistently makes education, advocacy and networking easier by providing her what she needs, when she needs it.
To learn more about the benefits of ARHP membership, visit Rheumatology.
Erin Latimer Meadows is a communications consultant and writer based in Atlanta. She is the principal consultant of Cause Collaboration LLC and works with organizations to help build their brands and meet their missions.
Striking a Balance in a Content Is King World
Ms. Dodge understands that you can’t read everything and can’t be everywhere, and she looks to the ARHP to give her the information she needs so she can focus on her patients and colleagues, and find precious time for some work-life balance.
Ms. Dodge’s favorite ways to stay in the know as an ARHP member include:
- eNewsRheum: This weekly e-newsletter keeps Ms. Dodge up to date on breaking news from the ACR and the ARHP, as well as on hot topics in rheumatic disease.
- The Rheumatologist: Ms. Dodge looks forward to receiving this monthly newsmagazine, which provides in-depth rheumatology news as well as news from the College.
- https://www.rheumatology.orgRheumatology: Ms. Dodge frequently visits the ACR/ARHP’s website to access information, as well as practice tools and resources.
- Staff and member conversations: Given Ms. Dodge sees people as valuable resources, she places communication with ARHP staff and members high on her list of benefits as an ARHP member.