Take time to learn more about EMRA. There are plenty of resources on our website that will tell you more about the purpose and goals of the organization. This will prove very useful during your campaign.
Investigate potential Board positions. Again, you can learn about the positions from the website. Generally, each position involves lots of work. As a Board member, you will be representing emergency medicine residents and so much will be asked of you. You should be prepared for tackle this extra work in addition to your responsibilities at your residency. You should realize that it is a significant time commitment. Here are a few points about travel:
a. The entire Board of Directors travels to ACEP's Scientific Assembly (8 days), the January Board Retreat (4 days), ACEP's Leadership & Advocacy Conference (5 days), and the SAEM conference (6 days).
b. In addition, each position has particular travel requirements. For example, the RRC-EM Representative must travel to all RRC-EM meetings. The ACEP Representative travels to all ACEP Board meetings. The Speaker and Vice-Speaker attend the AMA meetings. And the Academic Affairs Representative travels to all CORD meetings.
c. EMRA also holds conference calls every month. They usually occur on Monday nights and last approximately 2 hours.
Choose a Board position. It will be absolutely necessary that you talk to the current officer. To fully understand the commitment you are making, you must speak to someone who is currently in office. That is the best way to know what you’re getting into. The unsuccessful candidates are easy to pick out. They are often ill-prepared to discuss and convince others they are truly interested in a particular position. By contacting the officers, you will set yourself apart from the other candidates.
Talk to your spouse/significant other about running for office (if applicable). Serving on the EMRA Board is great, but it will eat into your free time. And the spouse/significant other is often the one to bear the brunt. It is critical to have the support and encouragement of this person who will help you during your office. Without their support, I would seriously consider not running for office.
Announce your intentions for seeking office. Here’s a quick list of who to inform about your intentions:
Email the staff
to inform them of your interest.
Call the Officer whom you will be replacing.
Set up a meeting with your Program Director and Chief Residents. Another critical step in this process is having the support from your program
Set up another meeting with your Department Chair. Another layer of support, but this person could also give you valuable advice.
Read the EMRA Strategic Plan. If you do not have a copy, email the staff.
Learn the EMRA campaign rules . It’s pretty simple. There is no campaigning allowed until the Rep Council meeting. But at this meeting, you can meet and greet voter, and you will deliver the all-important speech.
Determine a platform from which you will run. Pick two or three big issues that you will address during your speech that will serve as the basis for your campaign. These big issues should be carefully crafted and research to ensure they are aligned with EMRA’s current mission statement, projects, and strategic plan.
Carefully craft your speech. You will need to rehearse it many times. Remember, you’re only allowed one opportunity to address the Rep Council, and your campaign will hinge on how well-prepared you are. You must be convincing and confident. I would suggest being very careful with humor - it makes you stand out, but using too much humor can sink your chances quickly. Ask a mentor at your residency to help you in this process.
Win your election! Choosing to run for EMRA office is not an easy decision. It requires much thought, reflection and a strong desire to make emergency medicine better. Resident in emergency medicine have a unique opportunity not found in any other field of medicine. We can impact our specialty while still in residency and make a better future for our field. And that is the true reward for serving in EMRA.