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Summer 2017 (Volume 27, Number 2)

What is the CRA Doing For You?

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Vandana Ahluwalia, MD, FRCPC
(Vice-President of the CRA)

In what year did you join the CRA? At that time, what made you want to become a member?

Probably in 2010. I became a member because I was doing work for the Ontario Rheumatology Association and the CRA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) gave me the opportunity to network with other provincial associations.

Why do you continue to renew your membership to the CRA and how have you benefited from being a member?

I realized that the CRA had changed a lot since I was a fellow in rheumatology in the 1990s—at that time it was focused on networking for academic physicians. Since I was not an academic physician, and not many community rheumatologists attended, it did not interest me. Also, it was held in “SKI” resorts and I did not ski. Over the past several years, I have noticed many changes. I used to think it was an "old boys club" but it has developed into a great organization that also supports young people and women.

What has been the most beneficial aspect of being a CRA member thus far?

I now find the networking at the ASM to be the most beneficial. I also like the option of being on a committee that can make a difference. I like the fact that the CRA works with many stakeholders such as the Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) and The Arthritis Society to help improve care.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a CRA member?

Check it out! It is not the the old CRA you knew. It has changed for the better.

Volodko Bakowsky, MD, FRCPC

In what year did you join the CRA? At that time, what made you want to become a member?

It was so long ago that I no longer remember! I believe I was a resident member during 1997-1999 before completing my residency. I became a full member in 2000 and never looked back.

Why do you continue to renew your membership to the CRA and how have you benefited from being a member?

Rheumatologists in Canada are a close-knit group. I enjoy being part of something “bigger than myself.” The CRA represents my interests and gives me value for my membership fees. There are many rewards to being a CRA member – collegiality, networking, the annual meeting and advocacy to name a few.

What has been the most beneficial aspect of being a CRA member thus far?

Being a member of the CRA has facilitated my involvement in endeavours that led to career development. And, it has been a lot of fun!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a CRA member?

It is money well spent. Come meet your colleagues. You will learn new things and there is much fun to be had.

Cathy Flanagan, MD

In what year did you join the CRA? At that time, what made you want to become a member?

I joined in the 1990s as I wanted to be part of the community of rheumatologists in Canada; I also went to the annual CRA meeting every year to learn about developments in my field.

Why do you continue to renew your membership to the CRA and how have you benefited from being a member?

I like to go to the annual meetings when I can, participate in activities with the CRA, and receive the Journal of Rheumatology.

What has been the most beneficial aspect of being a CRA member thus far?

The collegiality among rheumatologists across Canada. It is great to meet fellow rheumatologists and learn from them and from the collaborations throughout the CRA.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a CRA member?

I think they should join and participate. They will learn a lot and will enjoy it.