Local-only Memberships

There has been recent considerable discussion regarding local-only membership allowance. Pueblo County Medical Society, El Paso County Medical Society, and Denver Medical Society each have local-only memberships as an option. Each of these local-only society memberships currently represent less than 10 percent of total membership, meaning over 90 percent of the other members are members of both the local component and the Colorado Medical Society (CMS).

Some CMS members have viewed this as competing and not “unified” and have advocated for eliminating any local-only memberships. They have expressed a fear that if local-only options were available that this would result in state CMS membership competing with local society only membership and they hope to avoid this conflict.

However, although local-only members make up only a small portion of the total membership for each society, with the loss of the financial stream to these societies, they would no longer be able to function in the capacity that they have. I believe that truly “all politics is local” and losing the ability to do what we have done on a local level would be a substantial loss. I believe that local-only memberships do not compete with CMS membership but compliment it and provide a bridge to broader involvement, giving members who would like to be involved an easy place to start and then as they see the benefit, move into more statewide efforts from there.

It is my hope that CMS will see the unity and benefit that come from not only having but using the local-only option as a bridge to CMS membership. I believe it would be of benefit to write an email or letter to Bryan Campbell and CMS staff expressing concern regarding the loss of the local-only option and would invite you do so. His email is [email protected]. As Mr. Campbell is new, I think he has only heard one side of the issue and has not heard the reasonable concerns. To be clear, it is ultimately not his decision but the board’s; however, I believe that helping him see the other side would be of benefit.

As it currently stands, an amendment was passed at the CMS Board of Directors meeting in which this will not be voted on by CMS BOD until all affected component societies have a chance to present to the CMS BOD. This is to happen on or prior to the March 2021 board meeting.