I recall my first AOHC. I did not know anyone and was not quite sure what OM was. Yet everyone was supportive and welcoming. Attending a Computers in Occupational Medicine Section meeting led to my first book collaboration – Internet Resources for the Occupational Health Professional. A real need existed in the 90s to educate Occ Docs on the value of the internet in their practices.
Always saying yes at AOHC meetings landed me at a Federal Highway meeting and the expansion of my work in CDME. More yeses led to more work: on councils, planning committees, the Board, and becoming an officer. Lloyd Tepper frequently spoke about the importance of building a professional network as a resource. For me, ACOEM is just that. My gigantic network of not just colleagues but friends.
You can only get as much out of an organization as you are willing to put in. Happily, I have more than recouped my investment in ACOEM both personally and professionally.