What does the NZSA do for me?
What does the NZSA do for me?
The NZSA Executive is looking to expand, leading me to reflect further on this commonly asked, seemingly straightforward question. Yet as I continue to walk this journey with the NZSA Executive, the answer is becoming more complex.
Earlier, it felt simple. During my two years as a trainee rep, I would answer confidently that the NZSA gives trainees the opportunity for connection. From Anaesthesia Trainee Collective events and the Part 3 course to networking opportunities with the Anaesthesia community as a whole.
In the years that followed, holding the assistant to the anaesthetist portfolio, I would answer that – in addition to supporting the education of the anaesthesia community as a whole – the Society collaborates with key stakeholders to uphold what is important to our members. That we are vocal, present, visible, and passionate. We strongly advocate for our anaesthesia seat at the table in all discussions that touch every portfolio, upholding members’ interests from patient safety, to care, and sustainability.
And now, six months into this Presidency, I realise how much more nuanced the answer is.
Yes, we support trainees, coordinate educational events, collaborate with stakeholders, and ensure we have a seat at the table. But it’s also the invisible mahi to find those tables, to push for those seats. It’s fostering relationships with stakeholders, broadly across the sector and globally. It’s pushing boundaries to find how best to support trainees at every stage of their careers. It’s ensuring every dollar of your membership counts, from scholarships to conferences and meeting attendance, to ensuring the executive committee has the tools to perform at its best.
The answer changes week by week, as our healthcare sector evolves.
Turning the question inwards I also think back on what being on the NZSA Executive has given and continues to give me personally.
Initially, it gave me a unique overview of the Anaesthesia community – a privilege afforded so few trainees. It gave me connections, mentors, and incredible insight (this was especially useful come interview time!).
Currently, it gives me an immense amount. It challenges me to grow in areas of weakness such as public speaking and social networking. It supports me in thinking creatively and flexibly about ways I can apply my passions and strengths to bring value to our members and our Anaesthesia community in Aotearoa, allowing me to work on podcasts and develop patient educational tools. It educates me on governance and effectively chairing a board, tools that will equip me beyond the boardroom and my tenure as president. As well as the education I gain from my fellow executive members, learning from their experiences and the strengths they bring to the table.
Finally, it allows me to touch base with anaesthesia departments across the motu, ensuring we add value for all our members.
For all of that, I thank you – our valued membership.
And so as we look to expand our executive in 2023, I ask you
– what might the NZSA do for you?
You can read more here on the NZSA Executive Committee and what committee membership involves.